Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 1

UC10 R6/1: page 1

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 2

• UNDERCURRENTS, the magazine of radical science and alternative technology [ISSN 0306 2392], was published from London, England, from 1973 to 1984 [No. 60]. This was a joint issue with Resurgence, which still survives and thrives under the benign editorship of Satish Kumar: www.resurgence.org . This text version has been created in 2006-8 by me, Chris [Hutton-] Squire [a member of the now-dissolved Undercurrents Collective], by OCRing scanned images of a print copy; the text has been spell-checked but it has NOT been checked against the original. Health & Safety Warning: The practical, technical and scientific information herein [though believed to be accurate at the time of publication] may now be out of date. CAVEAT LECTOR! The many stories that Undercurrents told will interest students of a period that is both too distant and too recent to be adequately documented on the Web. The moral, philosophical, social, economic and political opinions herein remain, in my opinion, pertinent to the much more severe problems we now face. Readers who wish correspond on any matters arising are invited to contact me via: chris[at]cjsquire.plus.com or Resurgence via resurgence.org/contact/ This pdf version is formatted in 15 pt Optima throughout, so as to be easily readable on screen; it runs to 177 pages [the print versions were 48 - 56 pp.]: readers wishing to print it out to read are recommended to get the text from the .doc or text versions and to reformat it. The many pictures that embellished the print version are sadly not included here. There are no restrictions on the use of this material but please credit individual authors where credit is due: they are mostly still with us. Page numbers below are for this pdf version. The beginning of each section or article is indicated thus: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Undercurrents No. 10, Resurgence 6/1: March-April 1975
4 Eddies: Erich Von Daniken, Zero Population Growth, Vancouver 76, BSSRS, Bantry Oil Spills, Gusher, A Buried Flying Saucer . . 23 Undercurrents Letters 28 National Brainstorm: Geoffrey Ashe Conscious Culture of Poverty: E. F. Schumacher 40 Living the Revolution: Milovan Djilas 45 Resurgence Feedback 54 Industrial Slavery can now End: John Papworth 60 Manifesto for an Alternative Culture: Rene Dumont 66 Towards an Alternative Culture part 1: 'Woody’ 79 Solar Energy in Britain: Do It Yourself Solar Collector Project; Solar Collector Product Review; Solar Collector Manufacturers Listing: Ian Hogan and Brian Ford of LID 93 Land Manifesto 96 New Villages Now: Herbert Girardet 100 Talking About Land Joanne Bower 102 Sward Gardening: a practical guide: Tony Farmer 111 Anarchist Cities: Colin Ward 118 General Systems: Peter Sommer 129 Centre for Living: John Seymour 131 The Future of Alternative Technology: Dave Elliott and Colin Stoneman 140 Reviews UC10 R6/1: page 2

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 3

Godfrey Boyle writes: Undercurrents and Resurgence have a great deal in common. We share the same anxiety that many of the institutions of modern society have become far too large to be responsive to the real needs of the people. And we share a common belief that the building of a humanscaled, ecologically harmonious, non exploitative culture can begin now, as an important part of the overall movement for. liberation from all forms of political, economic and spiritual repression that is gathering strength in the world today. Of course, we do have our differences, too. Some of them will be obvious when you read this issue, others more subtle. But if there is one thing the movement for social change does not need, it is the support of groups which have identical dogmatic views. Our differences are important, but they must never blind us to our similarities. The spirit of mutual aid in which we have embarked on this joint issue is one which we would like to see more evidence of in other radical circles. Let a thousand flowers bloom. ... Resurgence Journal of the Fourth World. Volume 6 Number 1 March-April 1975 275 Kings Road, Kingston, Surrey, England. Tel. 01 546 0544 Resurgence publishes articles on alternative life styles, human technology. ecological-organic living, and small, simple. decentralised power structures. Regular Columns by E. F . Schumacher and Geoffrey Ashe Frequent contributions by Leopold Kohr. Vinoba Bhave, John Papworth Editor Satish Kumar Editorial Group Brian Bridge, Tony Colbert, Geoffrey Cooper, Clive Harrison, Stephen Horne. Steve Lambert, Thomas Land. June Mitchell, Jimoh Omo­Fadaka. Terry Sharman, Anne Vogel. Associate Editors Ernest Bader, Danilo Dolei, Leopold Kohl', Jayaprakash Narayan, John Papworth, E F Schumacher. Publisher Hugh Sharman. Layout Mike Phillips, Pete Bonnici, Helene Saint-Jacques. ... Undercurrents is designed and edited by Sally and Godfrey Boyle. Martin Ince edited the Reviews and assembled the ads. Chris Hutton Squire grappled with finance and distribution; Brian Ford and John Prudhoe took up arms against a sea of subs; and Peter Harper, the Egon Ronay of AT. got as far as Wales en route for Australia. Pat Coyne struggled against the powers of nuclear darkness; Richard Elen followed the Leys and the ancient ways ; Sooty Eleftheriou maintained the French connection; Dave Elliott philosophised; and Ray Shannon pondered the deep meaning of it all. Many, many other people helped us. Even if we haven't room to mention them all, we thank them nevertheless. Published bimonthly (give or take a month or two) by Undercurrents Limited. 275 Finchley Rd. , London NW3, England. (phone 01 794 2750), a nonprofit company limited by guarantee and without share capitaL

UC10 R6/1: page 3

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 4

EDDIES pp. 1 7
NO . NUKES IS GOOD NEWS THE FIRST RUMBLINGS of a campaign against nuclear power in Britain are now, at long last, beginning to make themselves heard. At the moment, the highlyrespectable Conservation Society is making the running. Jane and John Pink of the society's local group at Merton are organising signatures for a petition opposing the nuclear programme which will be handed in to 10 Downing Street on March 22 (petitioners will be meeting in Horseguards Avenue at 10. 30 am. ) The focus in the Conservation Society campaign is on the dangers of longterm . . storage of radioactive waste. But a general leaflet summarising most of the other anti nuclear arguments, called 'Nuclear Power, Salvation or Death Trap?', has also been produced, and members are being urged to write letters of protest to their local newspapers. The slightly less respectable Friends of the Earth are also beginning to get steam up for a grass roots protest drive against nuclear energy. John Price and WaIt Patterson, two of the nuclear experts from FOE's London office, recently toured the country putting local FOE groups in the picture about the dangers, and laying some of the groundwork for a more active campaign. Up to now, FOE's work has been low-key, _ mainly on the scientific and engineering level; aimed at undermining the basic . . . premises on which nuclear optimism is founded. A couple of very impressive ' "technical reports have been prepared Amory Lovins' masterful 'Nuclear Power: Technical Bases for Ethical Concern', and John Price's 'equally convincing Dynamic Energy Analysis of Nuclear Power• Yet the overwhelming majority of people in Britain seem still to be largely untroubled by the nuclear nightmares which haunt a few 'socially responsible' scientists. And the Government, in partnership with GEC in the now activated National
UC10 R6/1: page 4

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 5

Nuclear Corporation, is forging blithely ahead with plans to build four Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactors at Sizewell, Suffolk, and another two at Torness in Scotland. Official eyes arc firmly closed to such ominous portents as the vibration troubles which struck the Hinkley B Advanced Gas-Cooled reactor in Somerset last month. These 'violent vibrations', according to the Financial Times, were "fierce enough to be felt by the commissioning team separated by many feet of concrete from the site of the trouble," and "somewhat puzzling" in that "no warning of impending trouble (had) been given either in large scale simulations of the reactor conditions, or in earlier tests on the same reactor a year ago. " In France, however, it's a different story. The antinuclear protest movement there received a powerful boost in February when an appeal to the population to "resist the installation of atomic power stations" was started at the prestige College de France and signed by over 400 scientists, inclUding professor Froissart, director of the particle physics laboratory there. The call has not gone unheard. Two hundred scientists in Alsace have ,/ brought out a text in sympathy, and the press is taking up the issue with a vengeance. The scientists' protest was the cover story of Le Nouvel Observateur at the end of February, for instance. Meanwhile, locations for power stations are now being turned down by the residents of a number of areas, and at least one local council has decided to put the issue to a referendum. The confidence of the. French public in nuclear' safety was not increased when, at a crossroads between Pezenas and Beziers early in" February, a heavy box of radioactive material slid off a lorry when the driver braked sharply to avoid an accident, spilling its contents all over the road. And official assurances that the stuff was only mildly radioactive began to look a little lame when preparations began for spreading a layer of _ bitumen over the contaminated road. The United States, too, is the scene of increasing antinuclear protest. According to The Elements, the authorities in Wisconsin have put a stop to the spending by private electricity companies of tens of millions of dollars on new nuclear power stations before permission to build them has been granted.
UC10 R6/1: page 5

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 6

The companies discreetly threaten that if permission is not forthcoming, the millions spent will have to be repaid by raising electricity prices. But Wisconsin has now ruled that any expenditure before the granting of permission must be paid for by the companies' shareholders, not by consumers. "Encouraged by such displays of antinuclear sentiment," says The Elements, "Wisconsin environmentalists may try for'" a nuclear plant construction moratorium. " In California, ,also, plans for a new 'antinuke initiative' in the June 1976 primary elections are afoot. But perhaps the most bizarre example of the all-corrupting influence of nuclear-power comes from New Mexico (again, courtesy of The Elements) where Standard Oil of Ohio are planning a uranium milling op ration. Low cost hot water for the plant will be provided by you guessed solar energy. ZPG CLUB Addresses Conservation Society, Merton Group, c/o Jane and John Pink, 42 Vinegar Hill Road, Wimbledon, London SWI9. Phone 01946 2959. Friends of the Earth, 9 Poland / Street, London Wl V 3DG. The Elements. This highly informative new monthly newsletter about natural resources, edited by James Ridgeway, is available from the Institute for Policy Studies, 1520 New Hampshire Avenue, N. W. , Washington DC, 20036, USA. Subscriptions cost $5 for individuals, $10 for institutions. ENGLAND JOINS ZPG CLUB AMID ALL the excitements of 1974, England passed one milestone on the road to the stable society that has hardly been noticed, though I for one would rate it one of the most cheering achievements of that dismal year. For the first time since the census started in 1801 the population of England actually fell by about 18,000. Not much, but it's a start. The graph shows how this was achieved. In the mid60s, the natural increase in population was about 300,000 per annum; immigration and emigration cancelled each other out. So the net increase was the same,
UC10 R6/1: page 6

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 7

about 0. 6% p. a. or enough to double the population in J 20 years. Since then two things have changed: the birth rate has dropped by a third, and immigration has been practically stopped. In fact we have become a country of net emigration, to the tune of about 60,000 souls per year for the years 196971 (though in 1972 the admission of the Ugandan Asians produced a net gain of 65,000). Official projections of future population assume a net outflow of 45,000 p . •. By subtracting this figure from the published natural increase statistic (27,000) we can estimate the net loss for 1974 to be 18,000. We have joined the select Zero Population Growth club, and without a war or a famine to prod us in fact at a time of unprecedented prosperity (don't say you haven't noticed it: government statistics cannot lie. ). Population Count Down is wasting its time, it seems; preaching to the converted one might say. Jim Callaghan once remarked that the idea of a population policy was absurd, as it would mean having a policeman in every bedroom, and was roundly abused for this sage remark by the anti-baby wing of the ecological lobby . Events have shown that, absurd or not, a population policy is pretty redundant. Some things at least people can still work out for themselves. Chris Hutton Squire P. S. Scotland joined the ZPG Club 30 years ago, with only three and a half times her 1801 population. Ireland made it more brutally a century earlier: her population today is some 20% less than in 1801. Separate figures for Wales are not available, as far as I know. Socialist Science? AT THE VERY end of January,just in time to miss the last Undercurrents, . BSSRS held their longplanned Conference to debate the question: "Is there a Socialist Science?' The title was a complete nonstarter, since the assembled crowd agreed there was a socialist science, but there was still plenty of verbiage for the faithful. These numbered some tW9 hundred on Friday evening, dwindling to about fifty by Sunday afternoon. Friday evening was the best. Introductory remarks were by Professor Maurice Wilkins (FRS), who "didn't know the intellectual left was this ;strong. " Nobel Prizes were worn. He even
UC10 R6/1: page 7

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 8

answered questions like: "Professor Wilkins, would you care to comment on reconciling your liberal idealism with all the money you've made out of atom bombs and dynamite?" ("No" was the reply. ) Then came the Roses, whose diatribe may have been comprehensible to some of the top people on the front row. The high point of the weekend was Mike Cooley, of the TASS section of the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers. His was a very convincing account of all the evils chiefly computeraided design and similar automated forms of previouslyskilled work being forced on the workers by scientists, and now being used to achieve new heights of alienation in scientists' own work. AUEW will send you his. excellent pamphlet on the matter. Saturday and Sunday deserve little comment. Things seem to be working out in China and Cuba, and Professor Eric Burhop (FRS) claimed that Russia is still the workers' paradise. For the doctrineridden, or for anyone in need of leadership, or wanting to shelter from the rain, or just with a pre War world view, it wasn't a bad weekend. But not a weekend for anyone interested in liberation. There may be a socialist science, but if that was it, I want no part of it. A LIFE 'NEATH THE OCEAN WAVE? IF LIFE amid the polluted atmosphere of planet Earth is getting too much for you, don't despair. An 'Ocean Living Institute' has been formed to promote research into "independent, selfsufficient forms of community living on the ocean". It will encourage "individuals and business firms to fund the construction and operation of oceanbased industries", and serve as "a clearinghouse for ocean living contacts". Information will be published on legal and other aspects of oceanic settlement, and on new concepts in oceanography, aquaculture, and oceanic settlement. The Institute says it will also "conduct tests on new concepts and devices". Including, we hope, a technique to enable 'independent, selfsufficient' ocean dwellers to exist without imports of oxygen. Further information from the Ocean Living Institute, c/o Adam Starchild [sic],
UC10 R6/1: page 8

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 9

23 River Road, North Arlington, New Jersey 07032, SCIENCE' FACTION "My work is in a category intermediate between fact and fiction. . " Erich von Daniken, the millionaire author who has sold over 2S million paperbacks setting forth "evidence' that the Earth was visited in the distant past by alien "Gods', let slip this extraordinarilyrevealing remark during a confrontation with his critics in London on February 21. Spearheading the attack was Jerry Palmer, who did a formidable demolition job on von Daniken's conjectures in a recent issue of Time Out. But von Daniken parried Palmer's thrusts with ease by simply conceding each individual point with a disarming grin. After all, what is one tall story among so many? Von Daniken's evidence is collected together on the faggot principle:"each piece is flimsy, but gather them together and you have a bundle of surprising strength. Apart from Palmer, von Daniken met with disappointingly little opposition. One intriguing point did emerge, though. John d' Ardennes, an Inveterate ley hunter, claims that his group has identified a site at the intersection of several ley lines where suspected that a UFO, no less, may be buried. This startling theory is apparently supported by, evidence that radio and TV transmissions fade out in the vicinity. Trouble is, the site belongs to an Illustrious Titled Person and is smack in the middle of a pheasant shoot. The aforesaid' Illustrious Titled Person is less than overjoyed at the prospect of long haired spadewielding UFO freaks swarming over his land disturbing his game. Delicate negotiations are now in progress with a view to commencing excavations outofseason. Which is why the name of the Illustrious etc etc must be kept quiet for now (Hint: he's not a million!? miles from Bath). But watch this space for further details. If any intraterrestrial extraterrestrials emerge we'll let you know. "Here is the . •. . " BANG: Near Banbury, where Britain's largest coalfield, dwarfing Selby in size, is being tested by dynamite seismic survey, the irresponsible BBC 'is causing even more difficulty than usual. Their nearby transmitter puts out so much power that when the cable lengths get to half a wavelength, yes, the detonators explode. No casualties yet further reports will follow.
UC10 R6/1: page 9

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 10

SPOT THE GUERILLA JUST AFTER THE beginning of the New Year, the national press discovered to its apparent horror that the formula for nerve gas VX was openly available to the public. What, it was suggested, if an . irresponsible terrorist group should try to synthesise it Amid the hysteria, no one saw fit to point out that VX . is a lousy guerrilla warfare weapon. VX is a viscous liquid of such' terrifying lethality that a tiny drop will sink through the pores of the skin and then put paid to you with,the human equivalent of insecticide But if you try carrying a phial of VX in your pocket and hurling it around, you yourself are the most likely recipient. If you connect it to a timed detonator you'll probably destroy its chemical structure. The military solution is to suspend VX in tiny globules by means of an aerosol which can then be directed using compressed air or inert gas as a propellant but even with the most sophisticated technology at your disposal the delivery problems are enormous. In order to control the effect of the agent, to ensure that not too many of your own side get wiped out accidentally, you have to control the size of the globule and have very precise meteorological I information so that wind, temperature, and humidity de not work against you. This makes things rather difficult for guerrillas, who like to melt from and back into the background as swiftly as possible. If the press scare is to be believed, a tantalising new sort of guerrilla should soon appear. Out of the shadows emerges a figure with a windspeed and direction apparatus (a whirling cup windmill), a humidIty recorder, and a thermometer. In his hands (he'll need rather a lot of these) will be an adjustable aerosol made to very find tolerances. To protect himself he will be wearing a rubber suit, goggles and breathing equipment,Erecting his meteorological equipment h will take readings, position himself near to and upwind from his target, work out the correct size of globule and length of aerosol 'burst' on his pocket calculator, adjust his equipment, fire, and then disappear as
UC10 R6/1: page 10

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 11

inconspicuously as possible. If you see anyone answering . this description, ring your favourite Fleet Street news paper immediately. . . . . .

ENERGY OPTIONS SET BUSINESS MEN DROOLING IF BUSINESSMEN hunger for cash, they thirst for energy. Many a moneyed mouth drooled on Saturday March 1st as half a dozen alternative energy sources were paraded, wiggling and winking, before a conference at the Charing Cross Hotel. Even the NRDC talent scout was fiddling with something in his pocket, presumably his cheque book. This middleclass gathering also attracted a number of young ecological activists, and some Liberals and quite a few People Party people. Walt Patterson of Friends of the Earth, always worth a lislen, talked about the diseconomies of scale and the impossibility of using several thousand megawatts of waste heat near a large power. station. Five or ten smaller power stations, however, could each keep a community warm. Walt's doubts about nuclear power are too well known to repeat, and in fact he didn't repeat them or only very briefly. Hugh Sharman of Conservation Tools and Technology Ltd talked about wind energy, and came over rather noncommittally. This was probably due to the contradiction between what he was doing selling wind equipment to those with money to invest in selfsufficiency and what he was saying that it's not economic unless you live somewhere jolly windy and jolly remote . Dr Brian Brinkworth confirmed the impression that all the research on solar energy has already been done, and that only marginal improvements in efficiency are likely in future, short of a price breakthrough in direct con. version to electricity. Most neglected of the 'alternative sources' is probably geothermal energy, perhaps because it doesn't lend itself to backyard production. Christopher Armstead must be the British expert on geothermal, and he created a great deal of enthusiasm. The hot centre of the earth is so big that in principle its energy could support a worldwide highenergy society for centuries, thermal pollution and manmade earthquakes permitting. And
UC10 R6/1: page 11

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 12

Armstead 4 believes that with the new techniques of meltdrilling, which means that no steel liners have to be put down the borehole; and rockshattering, which might enable rocks anywhere to be made porous, geothermal energy will eventually be available everywhere, and not just where Nature has provided running h & c. But risk capital is apparently hard to find for geothermal energy, which is puzzling: surely nuclear power and offshore oil are equallyrisky activities by any definition? Peter Chapman of the Open University, proponent of the. theory that nuclear programmes can eat more energy than they produce, painted two contrasting scenarios for Britain: a highenergy one and a lowenergy one. His energy analysis is brilliant and he can tell you how many kilowatthours go to make a loaf of bread. But his economics take little account of the existence of rich _ people and poor people. This led him to the absurd conclusion that a highgrowth society (assumed capitalist since no change mentioned) can be relatively free from . social problems, and only has to cope with the techniCal ones. About one member of the audience seemed worried by this. The rest, their minds stimulated and their consciences assuaged, walked back to their Jaguars with a spring in their step. Whatever became of the CSS? JUST WHEN EVERY BODY had forgotten all about it, the Council for Science and Society is about to surface again. Paul Sieghart, who set it Up, is still somewhere in the back. ground, but daytoday organisation is in the hands of Jerry Ravetz, working from a small office at 34 St Andrew's Hill, London EC4, just down the road from St Paul's. Jerry, whose Scientific Knowledge and its Social Problems is still a source book for most who call themselves radical scientists, now seems tired of fending off taunts about having joined the Establishment. "I've
UC10 R6/1: page 12

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 13

found my price, maybe", he says, "Only time will telL" The reason for the silence of the CSS, which has lasted since its disastrous launching event at the Royal Society in July 1973, is that over half a dozen working parties have been beavering away on a list of problems which includes technology assessment, behaviour control, pleasure drugs, riot control weapons, and the problem of powerful elites who are too expert for anyone else to check up on them, Ravetz feels that it's no good pulling the working parties up by the roots to se_e how they are growing. . However by the end of 1975 some of them should have produced reports of 15,000 words or so, which will be given the full PR treatment. With such influential names as BBC Chairman Sir Michael Swann on its list, perhaps the Council can indeed afford to behave like a temporarily retired film star, guaranteed a blaze of publicity on her return to the screen. The only difference,_of course, is that the CSS as such has had no previous public career. Ravetz compares the 'working party trip' to group therapy, and thOUgh the effect of meeting others of different opinions and trying to reach a consensus, rather than just arguing, may have been radical for the few dozen people involved, it is not clear that any comparable change of consciousness can be expected when the results are cast before the public. Especially since the choice of solutions seems to have excluded, a priori, such diagnoses as 'the whole system's rotten'; and even the choice of 'problems' seems to have ruled out those which are, in the existing framework, insoluble'. The Council for Science and Society begins its emergence from the chrysalis on Saturday May 3rd, with a public meeting on 'Neglected Research and Social Priorities'. By the end of the year it should be becoming clear whether the creature is going to be a swallowtail or a clothes moth. In 1976 the Leverhulme Trust's grant to the CSS will be running out. Jerry Ravetz says he for one will be prepared to write off three years' work (and fun) and close the whole operation down if it does turn out to have been as useless as the cynics predicted it would be from the start.
UC10 R6/1: page 13

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 14

SURVIVAL FIRST, LIBERATION LATER PLANS TO survive the coming crisis of industrial society are being laid by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies at Gothenblug University. One idea they have sketched out is for an experimental village of 800 people, seIfsufficient in food and powered by sun, wind, water and methane. The Centre's 300 members are also spreading ecological and antigrowth ideas into other universities and among school teachers. AU this is described in the 1974 no. 6 issue of the glossy governmentpublished magazine Sweden Now. The Centre is said to have the ear of members of Parliament of all parties, Its Director, Emin Tengstrom, is an assistant professor of classics who was "impelled to become more active by his confrontation with the student radicalism of the sixties:' It all sounds as though the Centre has some nice ecological ideas, but pretty conservative politics. Tengstrom wants to put questions of how we are going to survive "at the top of the agenda". One suspects that questions of liberation com some way further down. IT'S A PLEASANT surprise \ when a Distinguished Senior Scientist begins a prestige lecture at the Royal Society, before an audience sprinkled with Nobel Laureates and University ViceChancellors. by referring to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance. The speaker was Professor C 11 Waddington, the occasion the triennial Bernal Lecture which opened the recent Cibasponsored symposium on The Future as an Academic Discipline. In Waddington's view, modern philosophy, and in particular the philosophy of science, took a wrong turn with the publication of Bertrand Russell's Principia Mathematica the book which set out to reduce the problem of making sense of the world by seeking to give it the formal ease of logic and mathematics. Russell and Frege set the scene for philosophical stars like Ayer and Wittgenstein at the expense of what was derogatively (by then) called metaphysics. But, Waddington pointed out, the Principia had two authors: Alfred Whitehead's contribution is now virtually ignored. Whitehead was more interested in seeing the world as a series of
UC10 R6/1: page 14

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 15

experiences rather than as a collection of processes that affected matter and which could be under. stood by giving words a mathematically 'pure' meaning. Russell's heirs are now in a blind alley of semantic confusion which looks ridiculous and they have no means of coping with the curious conjectures necessary to sustain an under standing of high energy fundamental particle physics. But if we go back to a science concerned with experience rather than impartial observation and here the audience were presented with a dazzling panorama: Bacon's real concerns; the influence of hermeticism in early science; and Richard Gregory's theories of perception then science redefines itself and becomes more human and more concerned with the rest of us. " Waddington is sufficiently senior in the scientific hierarchy to afford to be outrageous in front of his colleagues. But he is also likely to be listened to our scientific elite does not necessarily change as the result of tubthumping rebellion; it prefers the gentle assembly of argument. Later on, part of the audience went on to discuss how the techniques of examining the future could be handled in our institutions of education . . . . Was that the sound of appreciative amusement I heard as I left, or of one domino striking another, which in turn hit another, until . . . . . SETTLE FOR VANCOUVER IN THE SPRING of 1976, government representatives of all the world's countries will meet under the auspices of the United Nations organisation to discuss solutions to the problems facing our human settlements the places where people gather to live and work. The meeting will be held on the campus of the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. The name of the . conference is Habitat: The United Nations Conference on Human Settlements. , While government and recognized nongovernment delegates will convene to discuss officially chosen policies and programmes, there are those among us who see a need for an unofficial, freeformcitizens conference. Three levels of conference activities have emerged. The first is the UN conference of government representatives. Second is the conference of
UC10 R6/1: page 15

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 16

international nongovernment organisations that are officially recognized by the UN. And for public involvement, towards and during Vancouver '76, we invite your participation in a third level conference the Settlements Forum. This forum can facilitate the exchange of ideas and information relating to the problems of human settlements, through meetings, seminars, discussion forums, audiovisual exhibitions, displays of settlement technologies and any other activities that might be suggested between now and June 1976. We want to involve as many groups and individuals as possible in the early planning of the Settlements Forum. Our group is still in its infancy but we will do what we can to provide you with an information exchange center through which people can begin to come together. The sooner we receive your suggestions as to how the Forum might develop, the sooner we can incorporate them into preparations for 1976. Do you know of any groups or individuals presently organising for the Settlements Conference with whom we may make contact? If you are interested in participating, have you any ideas or suggestions as to things you would like to do, present or discuss at the Settlements Forum? How can we best help you to do these things? If you are an organised group, will you designate a contact person through whom we can communicate? If you are not part of a group and would like to participate or keep in contact, please send us an address. Bruce Fairburn and Howard Arfin Settlements Forum, International House, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. V6T lW5 There's Oil in tham thar Waters GUSHER NOW ventures boldly where few honest oilmen (honest
UC10 R6/1: page 16

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 17

oilmen?) have dared to tread: into the shadowy, semimagical world of oil reserve estimation. The game of calculating just how much energy can be got from a region such as the North Sea is, at base, a guessing game. But it's a game on _'which a lot of options depend such as how fast to develop' nuclear power (assuming the Government contains enough lunatics to seriously contemplate such a course especially after the publication of UC 9); how rude we can be to the Arabs; and whether or not we ought to hang around in Ireland. It's unfortunate, therefore, that there are at least three schools about how much oil's in tham thar waters. The opinions of Professor Peter Odell of Rotterdam are perhaps the best known thanks to his somewhatoutdated paperback, Oil and World Power, which has just been given a new cover and a chapter about the 1974 oil crisis, and been shoved back on the bookstalls by Penguin: who says no one gains from the crises of capitalism? Prof. Odell reckons that Britain ought to put its shirt on oil, and estimates the North Sea's total capacity to be between 11 and 19 thousand million tons, which is huge in comparison to our current annual consumption of 100 million tons. OdeIl's sternest critics curious to relate, are the oil companies themselves even Shell, for whom Odell worked for many years. The companies' comparative pessimism may not, of course, be unrelated to a desire to save their empires from nationalisation under Labour, or penal taxation under the Tories, both of which would be on the cards if North Sea reserves are as big as Odell says they are. Doubtless the apologetic phrases are even now being polished up in the Public Relations Department at the Shell Centre for when the stuff refuses to run out in a few years. In between Odell and oil companies lie the Department of Energy (see their Production and Reserves Brown Book) and Arthur Whiteman, Professor of Petroleum Exploration Studies at Aberdeen. They both plump for reserves which would be enough to provide the UK with selfsufficiency for most of the eighties and maybe a few years more. . One of the reasons for all these Widely differing estimates is that there are ways and ways of extracting petroleum. Initially, the oil and gas are at high pressure and can't wait to jump up the well to meet their oxidised or polymeric fate. Hence the early20th century
UC10 R6/1: page 17

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 18

phenomenon from which this column gets its name. In , those days, in places like Iran, often only half the available FRIGGIN' ON a_ "' oil was extracted, and gas was burned off because it wasn't worth selling, so that the equipment could be moved on to the next well for a quick profit. Nowadays, there are all sorts of:. ways of encouraging the fluids to come out: forcing water into an oil well, or gas into either a gas or an oil well, or pushing in oxygen to burn part of the oil underground. But it's still an unreliable business. But none of the reserve prognosticators seem to take account of the efficiency of such extraction techniques 'when they do their sums ,Particularly Odell, who seems to count on 100 per cent "extraction of all the oil that can be detected, and doesn't discuss the concept of recoverable reserves. Odell. moreover, quite calmly lumps together the unexplored parts of the North Sea with the most promising structures already drilled, including the quite confined belt of Jurassic sands in which the majority of discoveries to date have been struck. And then he treats the whole North Sea as one geological province which is like estimating Britain's coal reserves by working out the reserves of County Durham and multiplying them, in proportion, by the size of the British Isles. On the other hand, Odell does allow for an element of mIsleading pessimism in the oil companies' figures. (BP's official statistics, for example, are surprisingly opaque on the question of reserves, though they provide loads of data on . every other aspect of the company's business, from extraction to plastics. ) On balance, though, it's not possible to have much confidence in either Odell or the oil industry. The only people with the slightest claim to neutrality are Whiteman (who, incidentally, went for Odell's throat at the recent Financial Times North Sea jamboree) and the Government (the Department of Energy has access to the oil co'mpanies' confidential information). They both agree surprisingly weB that the best we can expect is \ a few years of selfsufficient bliss in the eighties. . Gusher
UC10 R6/1: page 18

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 19

A HISTORY OF OIL SHORT AGES 1866 U. S. Revenue Commission . . . . says synthetics available if oil production should end. 1883Little or no chance for oil in CaliforniaU. S. Geological _ Survey. 1891Little or no chance for oil in Kansas or TexasU. S. Geological Survey. 1908Maximum future supply of oil 23 billion barrelsofficials of U. S. Geological Survey. 19t4 Total future production only 6 billion barrelsofficials of the U. S. Bureau of Mines. 1920united States needs foreign oil and synthetics; peak domestic production almost reachedDirector of U. S. Geological Survey. 1931Must import as much foreign oil as possible to save domestic supplySecretary of the U. S. Department of the Interior . . (East Texas field discovered in 1930 but full potential not immediately recognized. ) 1939U. S. oil supplies will last only 13 years U. S. Department of the Interior. _ 1947 Sufficient oil cannot be found • in the United StatesChief of Petroleum Division, U. S. Department of State. 1949End of U. S. oil supply almost in sightSecretary of the U. S. Department of the Interior. From a chart prepared by the Independent Petroleum Association of America in 1952 and reprinted in The Energy Crisis by Michael Tanzer TO SEE THE OIL GO DOWN ON/ BANTRY BAY Another major oil spill hit Ireland's slickest holiday report, Bantry Bay, on January 10, when. some 115,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil poured out from the side of a tanker gashed by a tug. Bantry hit the headlines in a big way last Autumn when more than half a million gallons of sticky crude were inadvertently pumped into the sea, causing what was probably the worst environmental disaster of its kind around our coasts since the Torrey Canyon debacle of 1965. Yet such appalling accidents, like others before them, seem to have no measurable
UC10 R6/1: page 19

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 20

effect on the willingness of governments or at any rate, the elites who control them to sell their ecological birthright for a mess of economic pottage. Patricia:Cummings of Dublin Friends of the Earth gives some of the background to the Bantry saga, and shows how public opinion in the area has been manipulated. GULF OIL's oil storage terminal in Bantry Bay was officially opened in July 1969, and is controlled from London. Gulf is the 10th largest company in the/USA. Two years ago it recorded an after tax profit of £343 million about the same size as the Irish balance of payments deficit last year. The storage terminal has a capacity of one million tons of crude oil, it is fed by a fleet of Universe tankers of 312. 000 DWT (dead weight tons) that bring oil from Gulfs resources in the Middle East. From Bantry Bay 'smaller tankers (100,000 ton) take the oil to European refineries. The 93,000 dwt Universe Leader began loading at 5:30 pm on October 21st. The cause of the spill is still . not certain. At first it was thought there had been a faulty valve; later, that one of the valves was not closed when pumping commenced. One can only assume that the valves were not thoroughly checked before loading. Needless to say, the blame has been laid on the shoulders of one sailor on board the tanker. Some 627,000 gallons (2,500 tons) of crude oil were pumped into the Bay that night. A North Easterly wind was blowing, and the vast mass of oil began to spread over 22 miles of coast. Almost eight hours elapsed before the spill was detected, and by then the damage was done. The Bantry Community woke to a blackened bay: Thick crude oil lapped in with every wave, every tide. The smell was unbearable, sickening. The rocks, usually peppered with strongly clinging limpets were bare; the few limpets that did remain could be easily picked off to expose their oil covered bases. Seaweed that from a distance looked almost 'unaffected', upon closer inspection had a new skin of oil. And when the black oiled birds came ashore, they were so camouflaged it was difficult for anyone to spot them. No one has yet given an estimate of the number of birds lost.
UC10 R6/1: page 20

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 21

Nor has any official word yet been given concerning the detrimental effect the spill will have on the fish. But Gearheis Harbour, one of the worst hit spots, has a herring spawning bed just outside it. The fishermen lost fifteen 'nets when the spill occurred, their boats and the harbour were covered in the thick 'chocolate mousse" oil, and they estimated they were losing £ 1. 000 a day. Subsequent events plainly showed just how inadequate were Gulf's antispill pre . cautions. The company's first estimate of the spill size (175 gallons) was ridiculously low. Only after eight days did Gulf reveal a realistic figure and admit that it had had this approximate figure ever since the spill occurred. Three days passed before Cork County Council (the body responsible for pollution control for the County) were asked to help. On the fourth day Gulf, \ finally realising the seriousness of the spill, diverted all available manpower to work on the cleanup. Six days passed before the Minister for Transport and Power deigned to make the first 'air monitoring' of the disaster. Then, as 'AntiGulf' publicity mounted in the papers, it was put about that Gulf might pull out of Bantry, and the terminal was for sale on the international market. This was immediately denied by Gulf, though it was said that a UN study had shown that Gulf could save £4. 5 million by bypassing the Bantry terminal. This would involve the use of 250,000 ton tankers instead of the Universe Tankers and shipping the oil direct to Rotterdam. A group of. 'business people' of the area, feeling they would lose out if Gulf bypassed them, suddenly became sympathetic. It was stated that a 'silent majority of 80%' . wanted Gulf, and more industries like it, for West Cork, and felt that the publicity would be detrimental to the tourist industry. Interferences is for anyone who liked Undercurrents 7 as much as I did and can still remember school French. In the first issue there are articles on how to listen to the police and how the police listen to us, on REGIS the (French) government interministerial electronic network, and a special feature on computerisation of the press. There's a plea for free radio which goes on to analyse how this might be possible using the low power (some of them only 50 watts) transmitters taken out of service with the recent
UC10 R6/1: page 21

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 22

reorganisation of the ORTF. The second issue promises to be just as interesting, with articles on phreaking, a history of pirate radio, and a special feature on computers. The drawback is the price ' which, as editor Antoine Lefebure explains, was forced on him' by all too , familiar distribution problems. He is considering ex tending the length of the subscription to make up for that. Whereas Interferences gives the tools and information for a transforming society, Impascience is for those who are still making their. theoretical analysis. It is produced by scientists and science teachers who feel they can get out of the impasse of abstract science by writing more abstract articles although some of them, / I must admit, are interesting; like <The Political S takes of Science', <Towards a Marxist Critique of Science'; 'The Daily Life of a Researcher'; 'Physics and Libido'; 'The Violence of Mathematics Teaching'; and so on. However, it doesn't reach the dizzy heights of abstraction of Radical Science Journal. And it is expected to come out much more regularly. Sotires Eleftheriou Interferences. 48 pages unpadded by advertisements. 12 Fr per issue, 44 Fr subscription for 4 (or 51) issues. From 94, Quai Jemmapes, 75010Paris. , Impascience. I rue des Fosses St Jacques, 75005 Paris. 52 pages, 2 free ads, 8 Fr per issue. Subs 30 Fr (France) or 40 Fr (abroad) for 4 issues. 7

UC10 R6/1: page 22

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 23

Undercurrents Letters p. 8
HAM AT NET Dear Sir, With reference to New Directions Radio (p. 7 ,UC8J. I am a licensed ham. If you do not receive any more constructive and positive ideas, perhaps you could suggest interested hams meet around 3750 Khz at 9 am on Sundays. Then at least we would know where to find each other. By calling CQAT or similar, contact could be established. Whilst I am unable to offer to organise such, once a meeting place is known something may develOp. I am on the fringe of • A T' and whilst I would like to join in a ham 'AT' net when able, I would not want to be named as suggesting one and then never appear. So please do not print my name. But I think the point of suggesting a day. time and frequency is valid. You are then giving all 'ham and listener' readers a focal point to start. I wish to congratulate you on the amount of material in each issue. My interest is limited primarily to the technical data. It is good that you do not deal with things e. g. . windmills), generally but give the necessary formulae and figures. Also the news about various. groups e. g. BRAD is good. DOWN WITH SKOOL Dear Editor, I have been enjoying Under­currents for a number of issues now, I hope you keep up the out­put. (What problems you must have behind the scenes well, I probably cannot imagine) The purpose of my letter to you concerns an area of interest born of years of experience in the Education or rather 'schooling' game. 1 have become convinced that schools are much more subtle in effect than we ordinarily imagine. Ivan Illich's 'Hidden
UC10 R6/1: page 23

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 24

Curriculum' is Quite convincing, although I incline to the view taken up recently by John Holt _ that schools simply 'jail' kids for the day, to keep them away from adults. The training given to young people (by force of law remember! is to conform to pressures, to form institutional habits, and to learn to be cut off from the general community and interesting ongoing adult activity. 'Education' is mainly a secondary activity of schools except for the elite who carry off the prizes, and who, by the way, validate the system and enable the vast majority of people to rationalise what goes on. I am arguing that we really do need an alternative education movement, as well as our involve­ment in alternative technology, or else our whole philosophy will be so much pieinthesky, and ultimately a Fritz lang 'Metropolis' situation will arrive. But here I feel a pang of despair, for if the main will of nearly all adults, parents included, is to get kids out of the way at alt costs, the fast thing anyone wants _ radical thinkers included is to have children actually putting their noses into 'real' situations. Besides, they may do enormous damage, and develop very anti­social ways worse than in school ' if left around our urban environments on their own. I cannot be optimistic about the possibility of Deschooling in our social structure, yet at root I feel it to be absolutely vital to any hope of an open society. What is the answer to that dilemma? I would very much enjoy exchanging learning with others outside the straitjacket of pro­fessionalised systems. Not just with children, either. I would totally enjoy being taken on as a 'source friend' by a few kids or, a (currently nonexistent) parti­cipatory learning society. Besides, they would teach me a few things. However, idealism aside, I would like to ask Undercurrents readers to write to me concerning experiences they may have had of the school/college/training system. Have your children, or others known to you, been. crushed into conformity, or otherwise intellectually and/or emotionally suppressed by a school system? What if anything did you try to do about it? Also, are there any individuals who have systematically resisted the compulsory
UC10 R6/1: page 24

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 25

system and for what reasons? Did you stay just on the legal side of the law? Are there any communities existing where young people's prOgress occurs outside the standard state school system. If so, how does the com­ munity avoid isolationism? I would;1 like to hear about any of these or. similar topics, including any thoughts or suggestions readers may have about what may . be possible. It will assist my own education for a start Yours sincerelY, Dr. K. L. Smith; The Electronics laboratory, The University, Canterbury, Kent_ BREAK THE LAW? Dear Sirs, Thank you for sending a copy of your magazine. I had looked forward with great interest to reading it but I was most dis­appointed. The reasons I have are clear enough. With such a great subject as alternative technology it seems a great pity that you have to debase your whole approach with articles that encourage people to break the law with regard to illegal broad­casting. To print articles from groups such as 'Anarchists Anon­ymous' would also appear to have little connection with your main aims. If you were to produce a mag­azine exclusively consisting of articles such as the excellent ones on pages 27, 29 and 33 of UC8, then I and many of my fellow students at leicester Poly would be most interested. Yours faithfully, Nigel Mills, 97 Upperton Road, Leicester LE3 OH E. ANARCHISM: THE AT CONNECTION Dear Editors, Obviously, I'm interested in some of the items in the mag­azine, but I have a very clear impression that Undercurrents doesn't know exactly where it's going. Clearly, you have problems financial and other and one way out is to appeal to as wide
UC10 R6/1: page 25

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 26

a readership as possible. On the Other hand, the magazine might just suffer the fate which inevitably overtakes those who go round in everdecreasing circles! People have a right to express their views freely, in this country and some others, and people who want to overturn our society have this right as much as others. But I wonder if outfits like Anarchists Anonymous have thought right through what they're trying to do? Why do they feel they have to be anonymous? Chip on the shoulder? Obsession? Paranoia? They'd be more convincing if they came out into the open and said where they get their money if any). . If you're running a magazine for people like these, please let me have my cheque back. If AT is your main interest, include me in! I don't believe that these two ideas are the same, or that the same people are interested in . both although some may be. The long and the short of it is that we and our children are gail to see great changes in the way human beings live this MUST be so, because of the dwindling resources of our spaceship's life support systems. I believe that the human race should survive, and that AT offers a route to survival. But I don't believe in imposing my views on other people and I don't want theirs rammed down my throat. You can run a valuable human service by publicising R&D work in the many fields of AT and self­ sufficiency, or you can run a magazine for anarchists, Phone Phreaks, and phoney phreedom phreaks. But you can't do both in one magazine. Finally, if you decide to print this letter, please don't print my name or address I don't want some misguided nit striking a blOW' for phreedom by throwing a brick through my window" Perhaps Anarchists Anonymous are keen to conceal their identity for exactly the same reason that the writer of this letter is keen to conceal his: they don't want some misguided Special Branch officer striking a blow for phreedom by breaking their door down and waving a summons under the Official Secrets Act. We're sorry that he, like the writer of the previous letter, does not see the connection between anarchism and alternative technology. The connection exists, nevertheless. The
UC10 R6/1: page 26

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 27

alternative technologist aims to free himself from dependence on centralised supplies of energy. food, shelter and similar necessities (whether supplied by capitalist industry the oil com­panies or the food conglomerates: or by the state the CEGB and the Gas Board) by creating his own supplies of such commodities in a simple, usercontrolled, ecologicallyharmonious way. Anarchism (which, though;, it may have its limitations, has nothing whatsoever to do with 'phoney phreedom') is also based on a desire to free mankind from the shackles of centralised authority and to create humanscaled com­munities where free individuals can cooperate voluntarily in the work and culture of these communities. Anarchism and alter­native technology have a lot in common [if you don't believe us read Colin Ward's edition of Kropotkin's Fields, Factories and Workshops. ]. We can, and will continue to, carry articles on both. Ed.

UC10 R6/1: page 27

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 28

page 9 Geoffrey Ashe’s column
One of the cliches of radicalism is that people grow more conservative as they grow older. Only a little while ago, spokesmen of a new age in America were saying 'Never trust anyone over thirty'. We have heard less of that slogan since they passed the age of . thirty themselves. There was something in it, of course, and there always has been. The twentyyearold revolutionary does tend to be liberal at thirty and tory or fascist in middle age. But Bernard Shaw remarked long ago that this doesn't happen nearly as often as appears on the surface. The change is apt to be, not so much a shift to the Right (using that term loosely), as a lessening readiness to support the Left (using that term even looselier) Shaw diagnosed the reason; too, and it is worth repeating. Persons who alter in this way may not be getting less revolutionary. They may well have become more so than they were in their youth. What has happened is a loss of faith in the techniques of change speechmaking and journalism, party politics and demonstrations, all seem futile. Convinced that these will never bring the changes they care about, they lose enthusiasm for them, and are branded by younger zealots as reactionaries. Which they are not. Until, say, the middle 1960s, this was a mood which hit people individually rather than collectively, and did go with advancing years:. Since then it has spread more widely and over a broader age­spectrum. The great disillusionment with movements and methods is one cause of the resort to terrorism. It is a kind of desperation. About the beginning of 1975, pundits discussing the Provisional IRA finally realised the nearirrelevance of pointing out that the gunmen and bombers were 'losing popular support'. Doubtless they were. But so what? When you have reached the provo stage you don't care much about popular support, or public opinion, or any of the old political norms. These are no more than incidentals. For practical purposes you have given them up. I believe terrorism to be hateful and useless. But I also believe the state of mind underlying it to be fairly common. Since the failure of the followup to the 1968 Paris rising, there have been more and more people around who vaguely want a vast change but no longer have any notion how to work for it. Lacking the terrorist's willingness to do anything rather than
UC10 R6/1: page 28

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 29

do nothing, they are in a dead end, inactive. Like the maligned middle­ aged radicals described by Shaw. Some years; back, I hit on a test question for revolutionaries which was, and is, revealing. Noticing how members of certain groups complained of their lack of money lack of resources s, inability to compete with the media, etcetera, \ I started asking: "Very well suppose you were given a million pounds with no strings attached, what would you do?" The question was liable to be met by evasions. It wouldn't happen, you could only get the money by betraying your cause, and so on. Untrue. Freak million­aires exist, inheritance exists, and the gift is not impossible. When any serious reply came, which wasn't often, it was almost always feeble. An editor whose wailings about his paper's poverty were nonstop could only say, when offered the hypo­thetical million, "I'd have a permanent European correspondent. ",If that was the utmost reach of his vision, what right had he to abuse the Establishment? Since the time when I first put the question, there has been a promising growth of small ideas. It will be remembered that when BIT asked for suggestions for spending £I,250, it received a rich enough harvest of 'alter­native' projects to fill a book. But few of these, perhaps none, had any credible bearing on change of a major kind. If you profess revolutionary aims, try . asking yourself the question. Given your million pounds to further the cause (or five million, I won't accept inflation. . . :. Js an excuse), how would you spend it? Do you really have any ideas? Or are you just another symptom of deadlock and negativity, a mood without :. J programme? You may protest that it is unfair to pose the challenge if I have no answer myself. Well, my personal answer and it is personal only, not put forward as what the money 'ought' to be spent on ­would fall into two parts. One would be a BITtype part, a specific local thing with powers of development: to be precise, the founding of an "alternative' hostel and centre in the place where I live. No need to enlarge on that now. The major outlay would go, not on promoting any scheme of my own, but on breaking the ice of frustration and conformity
UC10 R6/1: page 29

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 30

over a wider front. I would be inclined to call this project a National Brainstorm. That word, used as it is here, may need explaining. It was adopted in American management circles when they made a shocking discovery: that their specialists and experts didn't have all the answers to the problems they were getting involved in. Often, it was found, the best way to attack a problem is to assemble a varied group of people some of them specialists in that field, some of them specialists in quite different fields, some of them rank amateurs and simply let them discuss it freely, tossing up any idea that comes to them, however silly it sounds. With luck, somewhere in the hubbub, inspiration will strike. In one classic brainstorming session, the manager of a factory running an out­door operation wanted to know the rate of rainfall as it was coming down. Con­ventional meteorological equipment couldn't tell him. After much baffled debate, the stenographer who was taking notes looked up and asked: "Why not count the raindrops?" The experts' first reaction was to smile indulgently. The' second was to say, "Well, why not?" And that was the answer. 1 don't recall how they managed it perhaps by putting 0'" sheets of blotting paper but counting the raindrops did the trick. It seems to me that in the current semideadlock, the great mobilising ideas and programmes do exist somewhere. They are in the minds of people whom, for the most part, we don't yet know. People who are isolated, silenced, without a platform, without encouragement. You may reply, "If they have any ideas, they can write to the papers. " Yes, they can, but usually to no purpose. When papers such as The Times run their periodical correspondences on What's Wrong And How To Put It Right, the suggestions they print are 'rational' ones for making the present setup work better, not suggestions for radically changing it. '. The bulk of my million pounds, or five. million, would go to finance a National Brainstorm: a gigantic, noholdsbarred, sky'stheIimit airing of every available idea for a revolutionary leap forward. [t would provide incentives to speak up, and media and platforms for doing so. A lot of the ideas would turn out to be totally lunatic and totally disreputable. So much the better. Sanity and respectability are surely a little faded by now. If the restraints were once broken, truly broken, I think the paralysis of mind and purpose would begin to break too. The saving inspirations
UC10 R6/1: page 30

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 31

would flash. And just to forestall criticism, let me say I am well aware that a project like this could be dangerous as well as helpful. It could lead, for instance, to the emergence of a sort of First Prize Winner and a personality cult: to the coronation_ so to speak, of the raindropcounting stenographer. There is no room here to discuss that hazard or how to guard against it. But you call find it pursued in one of my books, which I shall be happy to tell the name of, if asked. I have, you see; given some thought to this. I have worked out a way to spend the money. But it is only my way. Now work one out yourself. Geoffrey Ashe

UC10 R6/1: page 31

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 32

Conscious Culture of Poverty pp. 10 11 E F Schumacher
Schon in der Kindheit hort' ich es mit Beben: Nur wer im Wohlstand lebt, lebt angenehm. Bert. Brecht ONLY THE RICII can have a good life, this is the daunting message that has been' drummed 'into the ears of all humankind during the last halfcentury or so. It is the implicit doctrine of 'development'; the growth of income serves as the very criterion of progress. Everyone, it is held, has not only the right but the duty to become rich, and this applies to societies even more stringently than to individuals. The most succinct and most relevant indicatorof a country's status in the world is thought to be average income per head, while the prime object of admiration is not the level already attained but the current rate of growth. It follows logically or so it seems that the greatest obstacle to progress is a growth of population: it frustrates; diminishes, offsets what the growth of Gross National Product (GNP) would otherwise achieve. What is the point or, let us say, doubling GNP over a period if population is also allowed to double during the same time'! It would mean running fast merely to stand still: average income per head would remain stationary, and there would be no advance at all towards the cherished goal of universal affluence. In the light of this received doctrine, the wellnigh unanimous prediction of the demographers that world population, barring unforeseen catastrophes, will double during the next thirty years is taken as an intolerable threat. What other prospect is this than one of limitless frustration? Some mathematical enthusiasts are still content to project the economic 'growth curves' of the last thirty years for another thirty or even fifty years, to 'prove' that all humankind can become immensely rich within a generation or two. Our only danger, they suggest, is to succumb, at this
UC10 R6/1: page 32

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 33

glorious hour in the history of progress, to a 'failure of nerve'. They presuppose the existence of limitless resources in a finite world; an equally limitless capacity of living nature to cope with pollution; and the omnipotence of science and social engineering. . The sooner we stop living in the cloud cuckooland of such fanciful projections and presuppositions the better it will be, and this applies to the people of the rich . countries just as much as to those of the poor. It would apply even if all population growth stopped entirely forthwith. The modern assumption that 'only the rich can have a good life' springs from a crudely materialistic philosophy which contradicts the universal tradition of humankind. The material needs of human beings are limited and in fact quite modest, even though our material wants may know no bounds. We do not live by bread alone, and no increase in our wants above our needs can give us the "good life'. Poverty is not misery To make my meaning clear, let me state right away that there are degrees of poverty which may be totally inimical to any kind of culture in the ordinarily accepted sense. They are essentially different from 'poverty' and deserve a separate name; the term that offers Itself is 'misery'. We may say that poverty prevails when people have enough to keep body and soul together but little to spare, whereas in misery they cannot keep body and soul together, and even the soul suffers deprivation. Some thirteen years ago, when I began seriously to grope for answers to these perplexing questions, I wrote this in "Roots of Economic Growth'. t All peoples with exceptions that merely prove the rule have always known how to help themselves, they have always discovered a pattern of living which filled their peculiar natural ___ surroundings. Societies and cultures have collapsed when they deserted their own pattern and fell into decadence, but even then, unless devastated by war, the people normally continued to provide for them selves, with something to spare for higher things. Why not now, in so
UC10 R6/1: page 33

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 34

many parts of the world? 1 am not speaking of ordinary poverty, but of actual and acute misery; not of the poor, who according to the . . . universal tradition of mankind are in a special way blessed, but of the miserable and degraded ones who, by the same tradition, should not exist at all and should be helped by all. Poverty may have been the rule in the past, but misery was not. Poor peasants and artisans have existed from time immemorial; but miserable and destitute villagers in their thousands and urban pavement dwellers in their hundreds of thousands not in wartime or as an aftermath of war, but in the midst of peace and as a seemingly permanent feature that is a monstrous and scandalous thing which is altogether abnormal in the history of mankind. We cannot be satisfied with the snap answer that this is due to population pressure. Since every mouth that comes into the world is also endowed with a pair of hands, population pressure could serve as an explanation only if it meant an absolute shortage ofland and although that situation may arise in the future, it decidedly has not arrived today (a few islands excepted). It cannot be argued that population increase as such must produce increasing poverty because the additional pairs of hands could not be endowed with the capital they needed to help themselves. Millions of people have started without capital and have shown that a pair of hands can provide not only the income but also the durable goods, Le. capital, for civilised existence. So the question stands and demands an answer. What has gone wrong? Why cannot these people help themselves?' The answer, I suggest, lies in the abandonment of their indigenous 'culture of poverty', which means not only that they lost true culture but also that their poverty, in all too many cases, has turned into misery. The cost of the ephemeral and the eternal A 'culture of poverty such as we have known in innumerable variants before the industrial age is based on one fundamental distinction which may have been made consciously or instinctively, it does not matter the distinction between the 'ephemeral' and the 'eternal'. All religions, of course, deal with this '\ distinction, suggesting that the ephemeral is relatively unreal and only the eternal is real. On the material plane we deal with goods and services, and the same distinction applies: all goods and services can be arranged, as it were, on a scale which extends from the ephemeral
UC10 R6/1: page 34

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 35

to the eternal. Needless to say, neither of these terms may be taken in an absolute sense (because there is nothing absolute on the material plane), although there may well be something absolute in the maker's intention: he/she may see his/her product as something to be used up, that is to say, to be destroyed in the act of consumption; or as something to be used or enjoyed as a permanent asset, ideally for , ever. The extremes are easily recognised. An article of consumption, like a loaf of bread, is intended to be used up; while a work of art, like the Mona Lisa, is intended to be there for ever. Transport services to take a tourist on holiday are intended to be used up and therefore ephemeral; while a bridge across the river 'is intended to be a permanent facility. Entertainment is intended to be ephemeral; while education (in the fullest sense) is intended to be eternal. Between the extremes of the ephemeral and the eternal, there extends a vast range of goods and services with regard to which the producer may exercise a certain degree of choice: he/she may be producing with the intention of supplying something relatively ephemeral or something relatively eternal. A publisher, for instance, may produce a book with the intention that it should be purchased, read, and treasured by countless generations; or the intention may be that it should be purchased, read, and thrown away as quickly as possible. Ephemeral goods are to use the language of business 'depreciating assets' and have to be 'written off. Eternal goods, on the other hand, are never 'depreciated' but 'maintained'. (You don't depreciate the Taj Mahal: you try to maintain its splendour for all time. ) Ephemeral goods are subject to the economic calculus. Their only value lies in being used up, and it is necessary to ensure that their cost of production does not exceed the benefit derived from destroying them. But eternal goods are not intended for destruction; so there is no occasion for an economic calculus, because the benefit the product of annual value and time is infinite and therefore incalculable. . Once we recognise the validity of the distinction between the
UC10 R6/1: page 35

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 36

ephemeral and the eternal" we are able to distinguish, in principle, between two different types of 'standard of living'. Two societies may have the same volume of production and the same income per head of population, but the quality of life or lifestyle may show fundamental and incomparable' differences; the one placing its main emphasis on ephemeral satisfactions and the other devoting itself primarily to the creation of eternal values. In the former there may be opulent living in terms of ephemeral goods and starvation in terms of eternal goods eating, drinking, and wallowing in entertainment, in sordid, . ugly, mean, and unhealthy surroundings; while in the latter, there may be frugal living in terms of ephemeral goods and opulence in terms of eternal goods modest, simple, and healthy consumption in a noMe setting. In terms of conventional economic accounting they are both equally rich, equally developed which mercy goes to show that the purely quantitative approach misses the point. The study of these two models can surely teach us a great deal. It is clear, however, that the question: 'Which of the two is better?' reaches far beyond the economic calculus, since quality cannot be calculated. No one, I suppose, would wish to deny that the lifestyle of modern industrial society is one that places primary emphasis on ephemeral satisfactions and is characterised by a gross neglect of eternal goods. Under certain immanent compulsions, moreover, modern industrial society is engaged in a process of what might be called 'everincreasing ephemeralisation'; that is to say, goods and services which by their very nature belong to the eternal side are being produced as if their purpose were ephemeral. The economic calculus is applied 'everywhere, even at the cost of skimping and cheeseparing on goods which should last for ever. At the same time, purely ephemeral goods are produced to standards of refinement, elaboration;and luxury, as if they were meant to serve eternal purposes and to last for all time. Nor, I suppose, would anyone wish to deny that many preindustrial societies have been able to create superlative cultures by placing their emphasis in the exactly opposite way. The greatest part of the modern world's cultural heritage stems from these societies. The affluent societies of today make such exorbitant demands on the world's
UC10 R6/1: page 36

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 37

. resources, create ecological dangers of such intensity, and produce such a high level of neurosis among their populations that. they cannot possibly serve as a model to be imitated by those two' thirds or threequarters of mankind who are conventionally considered underdeveloped or developing. The failure of modern affluence which seems obvious enough, although it is by no means freely admitted by people of a purely materialistic outlook cannot be attributed to affluence as such, but is directly due to mistaken priorities (the cause of which cannot be discussed here): a gross overemphasis on the ephemeral and a brutal undervaluation of the eternal. Not surprisingly, no amount of indulgence on the ephemeral side can compensate for starvation on the eternal side. Reducing wants to needs In the light of these considerations, it is not difficult to understand the meaning and feasibility of a culture of poverty. It would be based on the insight that the real needs of human beings are limited and must be met, but that their wants tend to be unlimited, cannot be met, and must be resisted with the utmost determination. Only by a reduction of wants to needs can resources for genuine progress be freed. The required resources cannot be found from foreign aid; they cannot be mobilised via the technology of _ the affluent society which is immensely capitalintensive and laboursaving and is dependent on an elaborate infrastructure which is itself enormously expensive. Uncritical technology transfer from the rich societies to the poor cannot but transfer into poor societies a lifestyle which, placing primary emphasis on ephemeral satisfactions, may suit the taste of small, rich minorities, but condemns the great, poor majority to increasing misery. The resources for genuine progress can be found only by a lifestyle which emphasises frugal living in terms of ephemeral goods. Only such a lifestyle o:an create, maintain and develop an ever increasing supply of eternal goods. Frugal living in terms of ephemeral goods means a dogged adherence to simplicity, a conscious avoidance of any_ unnecessary elaborations, and
UC10 R6/1: page 37

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 38

a magnanimous rejection of luxurypuritanism, "if you likeon the ephemeral side. This makes it possible to enjoy a high standard of living on the eternal side, as a compensation and reward. Luxury and refinement have their proper place and function but only with eternal, not with . , ephemeral, goods. This is the essence of a culture of poverty. One further point has to be added: the ultimate resource of any society is its labour power, which is infinitely creative. When the primary emphasis is on ephemeral goods, there is an automatic preference for massproduction, and there can be no doubt that mass production is more congenial to machines than it is to people. The result is the progressive elimination of the human factor from the productive process. For a poor society. this means that its ultimate resource cannot be properly used; its creativity remains largely untapped. This is why Gandhi, with unerring instinct, insisted that "it is not mass production but only production by the masses that can do the trick. " A society that places its primary emphasis on eternal goods will automatically prefer production by the masses to mass production, because such goods, intended to last, must fit the precise conditions of their place: they cannot be standardised. This brings the whole human being back into the productive process, and it then emerges that even ephemeral goods (without which human Resurgence 6/1 existence is obviously impossible) are far more efficient and economical when a proper 'fit' has been ensured by the human factor. All the above does not claim to be more than an assembly of a few preliminary indications. I entertain the hope that, in view of increasing threats to the very survival of culture and even life itself there will be an upsurge of serious study of the possibilities of a culture of poverty. We might find that we have nothing to lose and a_ world to gain. * In unpoetical English: 'Even as a child I felt terrorstruck when I heard it said that to live an agreeable life you have got to be rich. '
UC10 R6/1: page 38

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 39

** Cf. : E. F. Schumacher. 'Roots of Economic Grow/h', Gandhian Institute of Studies. Varanasi. India. 1962. pp. 37/38.

UC10 R6/1: page 39

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 40

LIVING THE REVOLUTION Djilas interview pp. 12 13
Milovan Djilas was one of the leading fighters for the liberation of Yugoslavia from German occupation. After independence he was vice president to President Tito. But when he wrote his' critique of the postrevolutionary government, published as a book entitled 'New Class', he was arrested and imprisoned for a number of years. He has written a number of novels and other books including 'Talking to Stalin'. No,:! he lives in Belgrade where Satish Kumar met him. SATISH KUMAR: You have spent a long time in prison for your political beliefs. MILOVAN D)ILAS: I believed that when a revolutionary attains power he should not allow it to corrupt him, nor should he try to retain it. His aim should be to give maximum power to the people. I still hold that belief. I exposed those revolutionaries who, in the name of class destruction, withheld power from their own class. I am not a politician but . a revolutionary, and although politics may enter into revolution, revolution is a continuous process of life. We ought not to think in terms of 'making revolution' but of 'living in revolution': S. K. : What do you mean by 'living in revolution'? M. D. : Revolution is a state of mind. When one is always ready to accept change and one upholds the ultimate values of revolution, I would call that 'living in revolution'. In this way a revolutionary sets an example for others. During the struggle for independence, for liberation, for revolution, a revolutionary usually lives up to these values, but there comes 12 a time, after the struggle is over, when he starts to seek privilege and opportunity. S. K. : In countries where socialist revolution has taken place the workers
UC10 R6/1: page 40

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 41

are in power. M. D. : To a certain extent. But the real power is in the hands of bureaucrats. Bureaucracy has institutionalised socialism. Socialism is no longer a revolution but has become the Establishment. Once in power, the leaders of the revolutionary movement retained the power structure they had formerly opposed. The reason is that. having achieved power, they considered it their right to enjoy its fruits. That is how revolutions fail and turn into counterrevolutions. Revolution and liberation are not products but processes. They are processes that should continue ceaselessly in our thoughts, in our personal, social and political lives, and in relation to the whole of mankind. S. K. : Does this mean that revolutionaries become counterrevolutionaries when they are. in power? M. D. : What I'm sayinG is obvious. Revolution is not the mere substitution of one lot of rulers for another. Revolutionaries should get rid of those in power, but take over power themselves only in order to . use it to destroy the power structure. Such revolutionaries are very few. Lenin and Gandhi are the two people who have exerted the most influence on this century. Although they followed quite different lines of thought and method, there is no conflict in the effect they had. S. K. : Why do you think their influence as so great? M. D. : Some people have good intellects and produce good ideas, but they don't know how to put them into practice; others excel at organisation and the techniques of action, but they don't have original ideas. Gandhi and Lenin were outstanding because they combined both _ qualities, and that is why they were such successful revolutionaries. They both knew what kind of society they wanted and how to set about achieving it. Gandhi was an Indianstyle socialist. He opposed. private ownership, a profitorientated competitive economy that is socialism. At the same time, he did not want power to be in the hands of the state but believed that it should be retained by the local community that was the Indian contribution. S. K. : You admire. Gandhi, but do you agree with his philosophy of non
UC10 R6/1: page 41

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 42

violence? M. D. : Because one admires someone it doesn't follow that one agrees with the whole of his philosophy. I'm afraid that nonviolence cannot work in all circumstances. A ruling class will never yield power to the people if they rely on non violent movements. S. K. : But it worked with the British in India. M. D. : There is a basic difference between a colonial ruling power and the ruling class within a country. It succeeded with the British in India, but I'm not hopeful about its effectiveness in the Portuguese African colonies, in Rhodesia and in South Africa. In such circumstances, I would justify defying the greater violence of the Establishment with the lesser violence of the revolutionaries. S. K. : What happened in the USSR proves that if revolution is achieved by violence it must be maintained by violence. M. D. : That depends on the revolutionaries. India gained independence nonviolently, but afterwards the leaders became powerminded and conformist. It is not a question of violence or nonviolence but of the concept of revolution. S. K. : Does that mean you are an advocate of violence? . : M. D. : No, I'm not an advocate of violence, but in certain circumstances violence is inevitable. I should like to sec Gandhi's kind of nonviolent revolution succeed, but it will not be easy. Of course, I know that in European countries a direct violent confrontation with the authorities would be almost as difficult to. organise and would have some disastrous consequences. Therefore a determined effort must be made to effect change in European society by the use of nonviolent techniques. S. K. : What kind of changes do you consider necessary and r:possible in Europe? M. D. : Changing regimes is no longer the solution for Europe. We need a change of attitude" and a revolution of values . . Without such changes it won't make much difference whether the social democrats or the communists are in power. We have to seek a deeper level of revolution. European socialism and communism have failed to provide truly revolutionary alternatives to capitalism.
UC10 R6/1: page 42

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 43

S. K. : Which are the values that need changing? M. D. : Since the war we have developed a value known as 'high living standards', and now the only thought in most people's mind is to acquire more and _ more possessions, while the majority of mankind continues to live under starvation conditions. After all, material wellbeing does not give us fulfilment. In fact, if you have too large a house, crammed with furniture and electrical appliances, you waste a lot of time maintaining all your belongings. In that situation the belongings cease to belong to you; you belong to them. Personal wealth cannot be an ideal value in a socialist society. We must arouse people to a higher level of awareness and make them conscious of the need for constant selfcriticism and for unceasing revaluation of accepted standards. In order to establish a revolution of values, intellectuals, politicians and other social leaders must set an example of ideal living, which, as I have already said, is 'living in revolution'. S. K. : How far has Yugoslavia progressed in the years since revolution ?' M. D. : We have; to a certain extent, achieved people's participation in the' economic field. In the last few years people have become very much aware of . the nee for decentralisation and for ' workers' control" rather than state control. But we must adopt the same approach politically and aim for decentralisation in that sphere too. When the people participate directly in politics a man's worth as a human being becomes the prime . consideration and he ceases to e valued for the office he holds or the power he wields S. K. : But many people would argue that some men are more talented than others, and naturally they become more important ,and powerful. M. D. : Those with special abilities and talents deserve some respect, and of course we must listen to them. But there is a world of difference between materialistic privilege and moral respect; there is also a difference between respect and authority. An especially talented individual deserves respect, but not authority I agree that in political movements there are some who are better at organising political action and others who merely follow their lead. The former remain true leaders only as long as they do not demand extra privileges as a 'prize' for their natural talents. A true leader gains the confidence and admiration of the
UC10 R6/1: page 43

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 44

people by willing sacrifice and service; he must not deviate from those principles if he is to retain public trust. S. K. : Do you still consider yourself a communist? ' M. D. : Not in the conventional sense; I am not in the party any longer. I am just. Milovan Djilas, a freethinker and an objective observer, committed to my own search for realism. I belong to myself and not to any external institution. Of course, I still believe in the fundamental analysis of Marx, but I am not a dogmatic disciple, because I believe we have to relate him to the present situation and make the necessary adjustments. For that reason I am glad that many Marxist thinkers have adopted a more experimental and questioning attitude. Communism is not like a religion which imposes acceptance of an established and fixed set of beliefs. Noone should take Marx as the ultimate and absolute prophet, for that would mean we were in danger of turning him into an idol, thus destroying the true spirit of Marx himself. That is why I have opted out of organised and dogmatic communism. Each and every individual should. evolve his own design for revolutionary living.

UC10 R6/1: page 44

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 45

Resurgence Feedback pp. 14 15
A Rag bag of Oddballisms Dear Sirs, In some respects 'Resurgence' improves with each issue, in others, it declines at the same rate. The format is excellent, particularly the illustrations, but the policy of the journal is being lost in a welter of intellectual bits and pieces, a ragbag of oddballisms. The tawdry ecumenism of VoLS,No. 5 which implies that all forms of 'spirituality' are of equal value as providing a force of social cohesion is part of the same Gradgrind utilitarianism that Robert Waller devoted three pages to attacking. The most important thing about a religion is whether it is true, 'not whether it is usefuL The kind of 'openmindedness' which admits all kinds of esoteric cults and dealers in enlightenment under the . umbrella of religion becomes at last the negation of thought. G. K. Chesterton (for whom I share Geoffrey Ashe's admiration) observed that one should open one' mind for the same reason that one opens one's mouth to close it again on some thing solid. Yours faithfully, Michael North, Fall Uehar, Brynamman, Dyfed, Wales. 23. 11. 74. Putting Water out for Pixies Dear Resurgence, I was profoundly disappointed by the joint Resurgence/ Ecologist issue on religion. ' . " " While it is true that we should not be prejudiced against those who believe in the supernatural, we should surely try to think clearly. Certainly we need a value system in place of the current one which' . . is rooted in competition and acquisitiveness, but need this be based upon religious faith? Of course some kind of axiom of 'faithstatement' is
UC10 R6/1: page 45

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 46

essential as a basis for a value system, but need it involve mysticism and superstition? I can see no reason why a value system could not be based upon axioms like 'no man has a right to more good things than another'. The flight from rationality will lead us into blind alleys; we d. . o not want to end up putting water out for the pixies. Mark Burton, 78 Three Shires Oak Road, Smethwick, Warley, Worcs. 26. 11. 74 Howling in Orchards Dear Resurgence, I am compiling a book mostly from readers' experiences, to be called Talking to Plants and Flowers. I wonder if you have any experience of Eastern traditions in connection with talking and singing to plants, or threatening them? Or do any of your readers have any knowledge of this interesting, ancient tradition? ' In Britain the tradition is preChristian, "and includes wassailing', or howling' in orchards at the New Year in order to encourage a good crop of fruit. It was also the practice to beat fruit trees with sticks (to drive out the Devil) and then to placate them by singing songs a rural tradition that later became carol singing. I have the words of some of these old songs. I will of course give due credit in my book to any of your readers who write to me on this subject. Yours faithfully, John Montgomery, 21 Kensington Place, Brighton, Sussex. 16. 11. 74 Looking at Nature The extract from Frederic Spiegelberg's Zen. Rocks and Waters, printed in the EcologistResurgence jOint issue (NovemberDecember 1974) has a poetic quality, but after reading it with pleasure I would like to question some of it. Mr Spiegelberg is concerned with ways of looking at nature. We should not, he says, ask nature to edify us, or to symbolise a transcendent
UC10 R6/1: page 46

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 47

<reality' behind it, nor should we be wanting to get anything from nature for our use or pleasure. 'The stone is. Why must one want to experience more than that in looking <It it? . . . The raindrop, the fallen leaf, exist. Thus they have in common with ourselves and with the gods the mostimportant thing that can be imagined. ' And the effect of looking at nature in this way is to 'make . religion vanish into reality', the immediate 'here and now', This view of things evidently comes from personal experience. But a lot of personal experience goes against the conclusions drawn from it. Blake's, for instance: <If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. ' Many people have told of occasions when their experience of nature was of this heightened order. (See Raynor Johnson's Watcher on the //ills. 1959, chapter 4). These people are not carried away from the here and now. They perceive the ordinary world, but it appears to them transfigured, illuminated; and it brings them a conviction that this is what the world really is, but normally they are more or less blind to it. It could be argued that the radiance is an illusion, a projection of personal feelings on lo indifferent nature. This 'theory can be neither proved nor disproved. To those who have this kind of experience it seems evident that the radiance belongs to the natural scene, illuminates it from inside. So much for looking at nature. What about ways of working on and with nature? Mr Spiegelberg implies that the best thing is to leave nature alone. <A stone that has been changed even slightly by the human hand, whether polished or chopped, has lost its vitality and is rejected by the bonseki master as "dead" . . . . Seen from this standpoint, 14 •• even the greatest work of sculptural art is dead stone. ' Similarly, it appears that from Mr Spiegelberg's standpoint any work on nature, as in farming, must rank as a spoiling operation, however necessary it may be if we are not to live entirely on fruit and nuts. Nowadays we are very sharply aware of the despoiling and exploitation of nature by human hands, but that is only one of three ways destructive, neutral, creative in which man can relate himself to nature. He is
UC10 R6/1: page 47

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 48

creative when as husbandman he tends and tills the soil, maintains its health and fertility and assists it to produce wholesome food, flowers for pleasure, wood for use. And this working partnership should be seen "not as an unavoidable interference with pristine nature, but as a healthgiving cooperation, necessary both for humanity and for the land, and for the future evolution of the Earth. Charles Davy, Priory Bank, Forest Row, Sussex. 30. 12. 74 Citizens of Mean Cities Dear Sir, Readers of A Prophet Ignored may like to note also the following passage from G. K. Chesterton's Auto biography: • <This was the primary problem for me, certainly in order of time and largely in order of logic. It was the problem of how men could be made to realise the wonder and splendour of being alive, in environments which their own daily criticism treated as deadalive and which their imagination had left for dead. It is normal for a man to boast if he can or even when he can't that he is a citizen of no mean city. But these men had really resigned themselves to being citizens of mean cities; and on every side of us the mean cities stretched far away beyond the horizons; mean in architecture, mean in costume, mean even in manners; but, what was the only thing that really mattered, mean in the imaginative conception of their own inhabitants. These mean cities were indeed supposed to be the component parts of a very great city but in the thought of most modern people, the great city has become a journalistic generalisation, no longer imaginative and very nearly imaginary. On the other hand the modern mode of life, only professing to be prosaic, pressed upon them day and night and was the real molder of their minds. ' . B. R. Gilbert, 29 Molesworth Street; Wadebridge Cornwall. 8. 12. 74 Coordinating Communities

UC10 R6/1: page 48

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 49

Dear Resurgence, Geoffrey Ashe's 'column' on the kibbutz in your striking Land Issue is of the greatest importance. The explanation given for the outstanding success of the kibbutz (which, however, is not the only such success on record: what of the largescale 400yearold Hutterite Movement of northern U. S. A. and Canada?); this reason the Holy . . . . . . . Land mystique can surely not be denied. Fortunately, it is not the exclusive . basis, this mystique attached to a particular land, totally unsuited to general use today. Moreover, it is significant tHE Hutterites (population estimates seem,; vary: apparently about 15,000 in c 100 communes) have succeeded for centuries on a purely religiOUS basis contradicting Noyes who said this \ enough. What can possibly fill the gap for us: nowadays? Where is the essential un relenting spiritual drive coming from, This seems to be the fundamental question for the modern commune movement. It can well be that the remark letter in your same issue from Henryk) Skolimowski describes just what we looking for. lie will no doubt be the to acknowledge that the concept has to now, been Eastern rather than We With roots which appear distinctly Buddhist in some ways, the modern Japanese philosopher, Yamagishi, giving his name to a small network of kibbutzim and cOI1)communes from end to end of it country, stood for <the oneworld society', i. e. man united with all living creatures as part of nature and the cosmos. And the Japanese Professor Kusakari, integrating his work with that of another antiurban modern Japanese: philosopher, Ishihara, has provided the ideological basis for a cultureinnature type of kibbutz by outlining a health morality whereby man can flourish b} cooperating in and with natural surroundings. This scheme is, as a matter of fact, just beginning to be translated into practice in Hokkaido. And is not related to another modern Eastern philosophy, founded on ancient roots, that Gandhi, which we see most notably, if still insufficiently realised, in the Gramdan land movement of India. It is not now a matter for anyone country alone. Communards must gain strength by uniting around the world. I the Intercultural World Movement of Communities (Dr. Giovanni Abrami, Via A. Cantele 37,35100, Padova, Ital) a coordination framework of mutual information and progress centres has already been devised. The Japanese Commune Movement is happy to cooperate. Yours sincerely, Mose Matsuba, Japanese Commune Movement, 1962
UC10 R6/1: page 49

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 50

Suginosawi Imaichishi, Tochigiken, Japan, 32112 21. 11. 74 Skyscrapers, Subways and Socialism Dear Resurgence, Your very good SeptemberOctober issue focusing on land prompts me to make a few contributions to the emerging dialogue. First, our presentday theorists for the alternative movement would do well to reread the thoughts of that great English man John Locke. According to Locke, genuine private property, on which the argument for individual liberty and republican government was built, consist! of several attributes. It is productive in nature, or at least potentially so. It is a product of personal effort. It connotes personal control and responsibility . . It may be appropriated by an individual only to satisfy his reasonable human needs; beyond that, he has no right to it, and it rightfully should belong to others whose needs are not met. We must make sure that private property ownership remains widely distributed. If we do not, we will find our liberties a captive either of the great corporation or of a remote government In neither case can they survive. Second, we must recognise that land use and environmental controls carry within them the seeds of the centralisation of power over land in the government ultimately in Whitehall or Washington, as it is in Moscow. Land use controls such as zoning ultimately confiscate two of the three main attributes of property ownership the right to use and enjoy, and the right to exchange and bequeath. Confiscation of the third main attribute the right to exclude others Will certainly follow soon thereafter. Third, private ownership of land and community land trusts are in no way mutually exclusive. Indeed, land trusts are created when a group or community receives land as a gift (bhoodan), or purchases it from their own savings. Although in a land trust individual property is ended, the land itself is still private property in the hands of private trustees, whose stewardship is guided by the underlying trust agreement. The proper remedy for political . liberty, then, is widespread ownership of genuine private property. I t is possible "that given such a system, we
UC10 R6/1: page 50

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 51

would not have some of the benefits of modern life like skyscrapers and subways and socialism. So much the better. John McClaughry, President, Institute for Liberty and Community, Concord, Vermont 05824, U. S. A. 4. 11. 74 Open Reply to John Papworth Dear Resurgence, I'm not, need I say, replying to you on behalf of 108 organisations [Resurgence Vol. 5, No. 6], nor even on behalf of the one or two to which I belong merely on behalf of myself. While I am naturally entirely with you in your insistence upon the need for smaller communities, I cannot share your certainty that change to less monstrous groups would of itself achieve the end of war and the manipulators who contrive it. be it military, political, economic or social war. The manipulator mentality is not, I think, attributable to the size of the political unit in which it is nurtured. Th rooster will crow just as fiercely in a tiny barnyard with two hens as when he has a large terrain and, say, two hundred and twentytwo biddies around whet he or not there are other cocks present. Manipulators known as kings, conquerors, priests, statesmen have appeared with horrifying regularity on every community's scene, however small it may have been. Think how small wen the city states of ancient Greece, of __ Renaissance Italy. They produced some A of man's most noble ideas and splendid art, but they were also among the most fiercely contentious and warlike groups. And what about the smallness of the Balkan States pray, and the minute countries that now make up Britain? Nothing big about them as long as they stay at home and don't go off empirebuilding across the seas. It is not size that matters so much. It is ideas, the rigid institutional and cultural boundaries, selfinterest, and envy that divide individuals and groups from one another. You may scoff at the UN and the European experiments, but the prime motive for their birth was a fervent desire to live in peace instead of war with the chaps in other
UC10 R6/1: page 51

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 52

groups, however many people with less glowing ideals may have subsequently jumped on the two bandwagons. We live in a society where, quite thoughtlessly, everyone (almost) continues to say and write 'employer' and 'employee' without pausing to reflect upon the nauseating meaning of being a 'user' of other people or a 'used' by other people person. Isn't it time that such an obscene, antisocial relationship was finally rejected and the words themselves confined to the limbo of obsolete crossword puzzle definitions? Gandhi with his religious view of life reiterated time and again that one of the most serious crimes against God and Man was a sense of superiority. Greenpeace . . . . . . . LoveRosalind Schamma, c/o Jacobson, The Bungalow, Wittey's Lane, High Street, Thorncombe Nr. Chard. Somerset. 29. 12. 74 Inflation Dear. Sir, Anatol Murad wrote in your last issue that inflation was avoided during World War II by direct price and income controls, and suggested that, if comprehensive and strictly enforced, these could be equally effective today. In this country there was more to the wartime antiinflation measure than price and income controls: rationing and subsidies on essential goods played a crucial role. The aim was to stabilise a particular retail price index covering mainly these goods, and to share the available supplies fairly among the population by means of rationing. The system did not produce ) absolute equality in that unsubsidised unrationed goods not represented in the index could rise substantially arid some ration coupons were sold on the black market, but it was nevertheless a serious and largely effective attempt to share fairly the reduced supplies of consumer goods available. It would be from this attempt at fairer distribution rather from the use of price and income controls that we could, if we wanted to; learn something relevant to our present problem of inflation from the experience of World War II. 'Peggy Hemming, Flat 4, 62 Southwood Lane, London N 6. 29. 1. 75
UC10 R6/1: page 52

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 53

Yes, Big is Bad Dear Sir, The letter from David Pearce [VoLS, No. 6] 'Big is not Bad' cannot be allowed to go unanswered; most of our readers must realise that the question of size is the very basis of our argument. Does David Pearce see no faults in bigness? What is wrong with a big hospital, country, or overseas aid programme is precisely what is wrong with any big organisation or approach impersonality, inflexibility, complexity, authoritarianism, vulnerability, etc. , etc. More to the point, however, a correct scale of organisation would enable us to be free of the need for hospitals, aid programmes and so on. As regards the merits of the present socioeconomic system, obviously D. r and I are seeing totally different systems. but he really is out of touch with a large proportion of the people of this country if he thinks we have healthier and" more rewarding lives. (Life expectancy has begun to fall!) Reread your letter, David, and see if you don't think it's an hysterical out burst which only illustrates how you're viewing things on a superficial level and failing to see root causes (e. g. How can a scheme like Maplin be deemed 'good' for anyone, when it is designed to squander everincreasing amounts of ail kinds of natural resources oil, space, peace and quiet on which we all depend?) I Yours seriously, Steve Lambert, 23 Hamilton Road, Hayes, Middlesex. 15. 1. 75

UC10 R6/1: page 53

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 54

Industrial slavery can now end! John Papworth pp. 16 17
ONE OF THE MAJOR EVILS confronting mankind, namely' war, does not spring from any' desire of the generality of people for a nuclear armageddon; rather armament programmes and the pursuit of war policies negate the profound desire for peace which is wellnigh universal. The war danger springs from the fact that our political units are too large to be susceptible to the control of the people in whose name they are presumed to be operating. It is this oversize and its corresponding degree of over centralisation of government functions which is promoting the dangerous overspill of power. It is for this primary reason that the Fourth World* is envisaged as a world of small political units which are genuinely subject to the control of their peoples. It follows as a matter of course that these small units will themselves be as noncentralised as possible so that in all but the most unavoidable areas where national control is imperative, people will be making their own decisions and running their own lives. In' this respect the people of Switzerland have shown themselves to be generations ahead of the rest of the world. We tend to accept it as normal that local government can only perform those functions decreed to it by the national government, In Switzerland the national government can only perform those functions (and none other) as decreed by its constituent cantons. It is for this reason that the Swiss claim that theirs is not a country but a confederation. Since it is not. a country it cannot even have a foreign policy, it therefore abides by a strict rule of neutrality in the . affairs of its neighbours and refuses to have any truck with membership of the United Nations. But the Swiss experience points to one area where it has failed to implement the working practice of its political democracy; that is in its economic institutions. Huge national and multinational concern (not least in the field of banking andfinance) are subverting Swiss political democracy simply because . with their vast advertising budgets they are able to establish the phoney values of consumerism. (t is these values which are being used to establish the terrain of debate in the political arena and thus preempting political decisions even before they come to
UC10 R6/1: page 54

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 55

be discussed. It is politicians who discuss motorway financing, for example, but it is the artfully generated appetite for mass motoring from the economic sector which promotes its presumed need in the first place. So that for all the unassuming radicalism of its political structure Swiss democracy can never be a Fourth World reality until it has established an equal degree of radical selfgovernment at the local level in its economic life. Recession from Reality And that goes for everywhere else too, and it points to a really curious feature 01 the contemporary scene. It is doubtful if a more blatant and insidious threat to liberty has appeared in modern times than that of the giant national or multinational corporations. And it is part of the world wide recession of the socalled 'left' from radicalism, and even from reality, that the{ appearance of these monster complexes is greeted with an almost bovine indifference. Trade Unions bargain with them, socalled socialist governments sign lucrative contracts with them, socialist journals discuss earnestly what part they should play, and nowhere is their existence, or their right to exist, challenged at all. Vet it is these complexes, often with budgets outstripping those of national governments, and which are expanding and developing at a prodigious rate, which are in the vanguard of the gadarene rush to consumerism which is sweeping the world, exhausting its resources, polluting the environment and . promoting an incalculable threat to the freedom of the citizen and the very existence of civilisation. Seldom in all history has so much power been encompassed in the hands of so few private people answerable to nobody but themselves. And still we are only at the earliest reaches of this development, a development, it is not difficult to foresee, which may well end in the virtual control of the world economy by a consortium comprised of a mere handful of such giants. Hence there is a sharply practical need to counter this monstrous assault on liberty by deliberately forswearing consumerism, establishing localised forms of production for (mainly) local consumption, and above all to democratise the workings of those large economic units which exist in any given locality. This latter point may well need to be given effect by simple direct action. Here the workers of the Lipp factory in France have shown the way forward. I n occupying and democratically operating their factory when its owners were planning to close it, they demonstrated
UC10 R6/1: page 55

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 56

clearly that ownership cum management in private hands is as superfluous as various schools of socialist thought have always said it was. Given the isolated nature of their struggle their defeat was probably inevitable, but a capitalism confronted with direct action of this kind in numerous areas would soon find it was powerless to do other than acquiesce in whatever arrangements the workers chose to make. If the workers were wise they would, in such circumstances, acknowledge the existing ownership titles of their firms and make arrangements for compensation at market valuation. In a period of massive inflation and rapidly dwindling money values this would be a fairly minor matter, one indeed far less important than a great deal of theorising is apt to suppose. What matters is that if the workers could become the owners and managers of their own concern by means by which even the existing owners could see to be fair it would reduce the possibilities of a political backlash and open the way for a new era of economic democracy on Fourth World lines. It would be idle to suppose that the path to workers ownership and management will be anything like as smooth else where, but the fact remains that the era of industrial and economic wage slavery can now end whenever the workers choose to stop it. One may well wonder what they are waiting for, and if by chance they are waiting for their trade union leaders to act they had better . recognise quickly that on that score they are likely to wait, all too literally as it happens, until doomsday. All forms of slavery depend ultimately on the acquiescence of the slaves, who are often guided by the consideration that they have no other choice but to submit; the moment they withdraw their acquiescence the game is up. This is the lesson of the downfall of all the imposing colonial empires of modern times; it is a lesson the industrial workers of the world have yet, it seems, to learn. Butthey are learning fast, and what they now need to grasp is that they are caught today in an historic onrush between 'the authoritarian colossi of national and multinational concerns which are sweeping towards a control of the entire global economy on political terms which cannot fail to be fascist in ethos and practice, and their own dawning awareness of the possibilities in their hands for freedom.

UC10 R6/1: page 56

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 57

The Destruction of Local Governments Politically it is possible to note a similar race between rival forces having substantially similar goals. There is, for' example, a rapid acceleration of the trends towards larger and larger units of government; sometimes this is open and blatant, as in the attempts to impose a 'united' Europe on unsuspecting or hostile peoples; in others it is more covert and insidious as in the measures taken by the governments of Britain, France, Italy and other countries to 'reform' local government. Reform is simply a barefaced euphemism for destruction, f r what has been effected here is the abolition of the smallest units of government by grouping the powers they formerly exercised into the maw of much larger units more susceptible to central government fiat and control. Against these trends there are emerging in every continent of the world numerous ethnic or linguistic groupings, quite a number of which have been submerged for centuries under the repressive pretensions of centralised state power systems" These groupings require no economic or political justification for their appearance, even though they can freely provide both, their significance arises from the bare fact of their existence, for they represent in sharp political form the revolution in human consciousness that is sweeping the world and which is prompting it to altogether new forms of existential experience. Inevitably that experience concerns freedom, and by freedom is not meant an abstract principle which mayor may not come down to earth in the form of a 'free' election every five years, an election in which rival party hacks contend for the privileges, the perks and the general payoff from appointment by the chief party hack to one public office or another. Rather is freedom seen as a reality to be lived in terms of making decisions in concert with others about nine tenths of the matters commonly at present usurped by central governments, matters about schools and education in themselves one of the most vital aspects of freedom about the structure, staffing and operation of all kinds of local government services, especially the police, about the use of language, forms of dress, patterns of sexuality, means of communication and so on and so on. 'Bomb the Headquarters'
UC10 R6/1: page 57

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 58

Even now many socialists of the old school seem quite unable to grasp what this revolution is all about and how it is tipping the old concepts of progress through mass" party structures, a mass party headquarters, mass party leaders and mass party discipline into the dustbins of history. Even now they seem unable to grasp that the key question is not whether something will work, whether an independent Scotland will work or whether a free Wales, let us say, is viable, but whether people want them. At present the political forces ranged against the Fourth World are imposing enough and repression is the order of the day either by police and military thuggery or by administrative artifice coupled with a conspiracy of media silence. I t is not commonly known, for example, that when Robert Lafont, the author of several books on Occitanie, and a champion of the independence of this historic region of France, sought to enter his candidature for the recent presidential elections it was rejected by the French constitutional council. " Nevertheless, the old order is facing its own problems, for whilst small nations of only a few million people are showing that their arrangements work very well indeed, so that Denmark, for example (population 5 million), has a higher per capita gross domestic product than West Germany population 61 million), it is becoming increasingly evident that the political and economic arrangements of the big units, far from working at all, are quite simply breaking down. Indeed, the future of the big powers is now being freely_prognosticated in terms of the total collapse of their paper currencies, massive{ unemployment, widespread social unrest and rebellion and greater and greater measures of repression and coercion by the state, itself largely a machine of war. There is as yet no ideology of world liberation which will rescue it from the clutches of our decaying bourgeois civilisation, so that Women's Lib, Gay Lib, Student Lib, Black Power, the commune movement, radical pacifism, ecology action, community politics and a host of other new manifestations have yet to see the vital ideological link between their own concerns and the broader realities 01 the Fourth World. When that link is established we may expect the world to change and the, prospects of a new and more hopeful phase in human affairs to open up. This will not happen because people want it, even though they do; it will result from the unremitting efforts of a small minority (as always') to establish those organisational links and those working structures imbued with a clearsighted momentum towards objectives which at present are
UC10 R6/1: page 58

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 59

so patently lacking. The nee' now, as never before, is for organising and building, to lay that groundwork of structure which will help to make the Fourth World a reality. 'Our lack is nothing but our leave'. * The Fourth World;s the world of small nations, the colonies within states. the Mohawks. the Basques. the Lapps. the Welsh. Those who want decentralised, smallscale forms of organisation and the fulfilment of human values. Editor 17

UC10 R6/1: page 59

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 60

Manifesto of an alternative culture Renee Dumont
Rene Dumont, professor at the agronomic institute of ParisGrignon;was nominated by more than. a hundred ecological societies as their candidate for the Presidency of France in 1974. Here is his. election manifesto. The Ecological Problem It is one and the same system which organises the exploitation of the workers and the degradation of living and working conditions and puts the whole earth in danger. The blind policy of growth which is so extravagantly praised by all the political parties, takes no account either of human wellbeing or of the environment. In this system the cost of pollution, then of depollution are added together to swell the production figures, though in fact they cancel one another out. Goods with builtin obsolescence that deteriorate as soon as they are bought, the wastes that accumulate, the production of armaments, the recourse to ever larger and . more dangerous technology: our system has to run faster and faster in order to stay where it is. Nuclear power stations require so much energy for their construction that it is necessary to keep building new ones in preparation for future stations. In support of this project governments invoke the mystique of progress. Let us be clear on this point: progress whose price is so heavy, for our health, for our children, for the workers, is not progress. ' Growth has not done away with inequalities in France: it has accentuated them. On the contrary, a privileged minority benefit from this growth and carefully preserve for themselves an agreeable way of life. All decisions are concentrated in their hands. Centralised control is extended into all spheres and transforms the people who are deprived of information into robots for production and consumption. In this system women have no rights and no voice even in the disposal of their own bodies in the matter of contraception and abortion. In this system a Breton has not the right to be a Breton. Regional cultures are suppressed, uniformity is the rule.
UC10 R6/1: page 60

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 61

Our 'expansion' has been brought about largely through the pillage of the third world, through underpayment for raw materials, including oil until 1971. This pillage has made possible our unparalleled waste&e of all these resources. The famine is due to the breaking down of the traditional customs, grain reserves, and irresponsible export of cultures. I t is also caused by the extravagant spending of the elites who want to live. in western style at the expense of the agricultural and industrial equipment of their countries. There are Solutions • The primacy of wellbeing over the accumulation of goods, and the quality of Iife over the standard of living. • equilibrium between production, consumption, population and resources. • transference to the whole population, men and women, within the framework of their communities, of the power to organise themselves, make their own decisions, as well 'as the power to acquire the necessary information. • respect for technical and cultural diversity, of human beings and of social I groups. • the use of decentralised production techniques, nonpolluting and based on renewable resources as, for example, solar energy (soft technology). • decentralisation of power at all geographical levels (regions, departments, communes, quartiers). • obligatory information to associations about the decisions which concern them, and access to the decisionmaking procedures. . the possibility of legal intervention by the associations before the harmful projects are begun. • the setting up of local means of communication which will allow everyone to express their views and effectively make decisions (local television). All the present economic calculations are false. They count as an addition to the national wealth expenditure on medicines, costs of hospitalisation, charges for car repairs and costs of burial. Equally monumental errors today remove all significance from the Gross
UC10 R6/1: page 61

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 62

National Product (G. N. P. ) which is still the official index of progress. A more accurate measure of the national well­being is urgently heeded. This would make it possible to escape from the short­term economic perspective based on appetite and power. To Avoid Economic Crisis . and Unemployment • By social measures such as reduction of working hours and rates of working, • By social investments (creches, hospitals) the most productive of all. I. Il By changing industrial production to more durable, useful and less polluting products. This is especially possible for the motor car. • By altering agricultural policy so as not to favour the moneylenders. Confining of subsidies to activities which do not destroy the natural equilibria. • By reorientation and development of services such as preventive medicine, state education, permanent citizenship to the foreign workers, the protection of nature and the struggle against pollution. ) The Redistribution of health democratising education, increasing low wages, helping the aged . . . is not enough. The redistribution of wealth involves above all a move towards: • greater equality in the conditions and environment of work, housing and health. • greater equality for all in quality and standard of life a fairer relationship between the prices of agricultural and industrial products. • finanCially it requires a complete re­thinking of the distribution of the national wealth. • giving the major part of public money to the local communities. • economising by avoiding waste. • giving priority to social spending for the betterment of the environment of the underprivileged. • a generalised tax on pollutions. But don't wait for things to change by themselves, Only you have the power to change them.
UC10 R6/1: page 62

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 63

Manifesto of an Alternative Culture ReneDumont They have not told you this. , But it is true. • There is no life left in the Baltic Sea; soon there will be none in the Mediterranean. • Each time you take your car away for the weekend, France has to sell a gun to one of the petrolproducing countries of the Third World. • Intoxication by exhaust gases and tobacco cause as many road accidents as drunkenness. • In order to travel 10,000 kilometres, one has to devote 1,500 hours to one's car (earning the money to buy and maintain it, driving time, waiting in traffic jams, hospitalisation). This comes to 6 kilometres an hour, the rate of a pedestrian. • Winter 1974, Morlaix flooded: the hedges which held the rain in the soil having been destroyed. Lisbon and Florence had already suffered the same fate. • Each year 1 00,000 hectares s of agricultural land vanish under concrete. • The MaineMontparnasse building consumes as much electricity as a town of 25,000 inhabitants. , • According to the technocrats, 80% of the French people will live in the towns in 1985. According to a recent poll, 70% of the French people want to live in the country. But have they told you that . . . • Domestic heating and production of hot water by solar energy is practicable now. • The recycling of aluminium requires eight times less energy than its production from ores. • The richest beds of tin ,are the rubbish dumps of the big towns. • The train uses four timeless energy per passenger/kilometre than the car. • An agriculture which respects' the soil and relies on natural processes obtains excellent yields with a minimum of chemical fertilizers and dangerous
UC10 R6/1: page 63

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 64

pesticides. n


translated by Anne Vogel Country Afternoon we buy postcards sepiatinted putting extra money, carefully, in the box a lone tourist made nervous by laughter and the child climbing on tombstones hurries towards the lychgate shuts it with an echoing click a church noted by Betjeman saddlebacked, herringboned tiny, cool ' more ancient than its written history a god's eye in Cotswold fields: outside, the graven cross, six centuries won is a single shaft to heaven from the crypt I look up see your face for an instant dark against sunlight still as a stone knight a ,woodpigeon clatters­from a smouldering bonfire smoke wavers upwards we gaze into the rectory orchard I heavy with forbidden fruit dahlias in shocks lean towards us across the lane five. geese _from a fairy tale cows gathered peaceably to be milked a muddy ford with minnows no sound or sight of other human fifteen adults in this community a few children and the old where are they allindoors, or vanished long ago into the hedgerows, the rolling fields? at the edge of the wood a horse chases a cow "an afternoon out of time," you say
UC10 R6/1: page 64

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 65

. "fifty years or ,more ago. if I built a church it would be like this" I pick flowers that will not last the journey home heat dances on tarmac the child runs towards the car where to go from here? Frances Horovitz

UC10 R6/1: page 65

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 66

Towards An Alternative Culture Woody
This is the first extract from a long essay entitled 'An Introduction to Alternative Culture' which will be serialised in the next few issues of Undercurrents. We think it represents an original and refreshing approach to the problem that has plagued radicals in every era: how can society be changed? Subsequent extracts will deal with, and hopefully shed light upon, such topics as: the characteristics of a society in which sociality ('living for each other') is the keynote; the factors which restrict the spread of radical ideas to limited numbers of people and how those limitations might be transcended; the necessity for tolerance of the views of others; and how the embryonic alternative culture can begin, now, to lay the foundations of the 'voluntary state' in the midst of our 'mature' society. GROWING NUMBERS of radicals in our portion of the world are coming to under­stand that the struggle for social change cannot be waged with the ballot box, nor yet with the gun. The alternative culture is happening. Or rather, it is trying to happen. Countless small groups of human beings have decided to go back to square one: to the first principles of social co­operation. A growing literature surrounds this activity. Manifestos and subjective essays proclaiming the new values ,abound; side by side with accounts of practical experiments. But the failure rate is staggering. Meanwhile, the heavy homework has not been done. These practical activities labour under social theories which only . have meaning in other places, and for other purposes, not in these societies, nor for this task. If a movement is the unity of theory and practice, then it is true to say that no movement to alternative culture exists. Yet the same real social conditions which have generated this practical activity have also prompted widespread questioning and thinking by isolated individuals. . The twin intentions of this essay, then, are first to offer some provisional basis for discussion of strategy among those actively involved; and second to provoke if only by its errors, and its brashness ­a response and a continuing elaboration of theory among those already moving towards,
UC10 R6/1: page 66

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 67

or ahead of, these ideas. Use of the first person singular has been avoided except where the context requires it. For few of the ideas are . original, even in the everyday sense. The central concepts have come via a number of comrades who have applied themselves to the problem. And the wisdom of older social theories has also been drawn on. What's wrong There is something very wrong with the world. If you don't think so, don't bother to read this. If you do think so, I am try­ing to talk to you. We are all, basically, unhappy about what is wrong. A few million people get very down at times, and have to take tablets or go to the doctor. And thousands commit suicide every year. But most of us keep p cheerful enough. We have our jobs and our duties; and we have our entertainments. So we keep cheerful, and yet we are unhappy. Moreover, we feel lonely. For old people, those who cannot get about, people who don't make friends easily, being lonely is very real. But most of us have lots of friends,as well as families ­yet we still feel lonely. The other people in the street, or on the train even people who live a few doors away seem like strangers. When something special happens, like a fire in our street, we are ,1I1 out in the road and everybody finds they can talk to everybody. For a little while, it is just as it should be. We don't feel safe, either. It's not so much the Bomb that frightens us we don't like the thought of it, so we don't think about it. We don't feel safe because we are worried about 'holding our own'. Most of it comes down to money,. If we have a fairly good job (or our husband has) we can buy most of the things other people can buy and do most of the things other people can do. But if we lose our job, or fall ill, or get injured, or reach retiring age, then we can't hold our own any more: We feel a failure, even if it was not our fault. Some blokes stay away from their local pub and their friends, rather than not be able to buy a round. So long as we compete like this, there have got to be losers. And the next loser could be you or me. That is why we don't feel safe. We feel selfish. Most of us can be very generous at times, and yet in our whole lives we feel selfish. I f you are trying to hold your own against the others, it just does not make sense to let yourself down by helping
UC10 R6/1: page 67

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 68

someone else up. And how can you be bothered about other people's problems when they seem so far away you cannot even talk k to them? I n any case you haven't got the time to help because there are so many things you have to do. So we just help our own. And give a few bob to charity if we have it to spare. And go on feeling selfish. We have no control over our lives. Now, we live in a democracy: the very best, we, are told. We can vote in secret for anyone we like. We can elect our own council and our own government. We can choose our leaders and they can pass laws toput right anything that is wrong. Other countries also say their system is 'the best'. And yet the world stays very wrong. Our lives have no purpose. The message we get(from all around us, from the telly, from the papers, is to,look after number one. And we do. But we need some purpose bigger than ourselves. Once, the Church gave this purpose to all. Today, some of us are again turning to God to give our lives meaning. Others see that this does not itself change the real things that are wrong with the real world: not even for those who believe. Some still find purpose in serving 'their country', whether Britain, Israel, Mexico or what­ever. But most of us today can see that to be for 'us' is to be against 'them', and that in any case a nation is not the same thing as its people. There is no shortage of other causes, but for most of us ,it is still true that our lives have no purpose. I r We are not ourselves. Perhaps this is the most important part of what is wrong. Most o us feel that the person living the daily routine is not the real us. That the 'man or woman being distant, selfish and hard is not the real us. We know we are not really ,doing what we could do, or being what we could be. Now and then, the real us seems to break through for a while usually when tragedy strikes, or some other sudden change takes place in our lives. But mostly, the person we could really be stays shut inside, and the world in which we could be that person remains a dream. It is mainly the young who can work to make a dream come true. Which is why young people protest in so many ways ,against the kind of world we live in. But as we get older we become more realistic. We bury our dream. And nearly forget that we are not ourselves.
UC10 R6/1: page 68

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 69

There is a word for what's wrong with the world. I t is called Alienation. The Symptom or the Cause? But, you ask, what about all the other things wrong with the world? The over half a million of us unemployed in this country alone, when voices are calling urgently for higher production? The angry contempt shown to one section of those who do not work (the dole queue), compared with the respect given to another (the shareholders). What about the punishment Of common thieves, and the rewards heaped upon those who steal from all of us? What about the 'democratic' society in which the orders still come down from above and bosses are chosen by bigger bosses? Or invitation to people to take part in democracy, and the branding of those who have their shout as troublemakers? The management which insists on its right to manage our working lives down to the last detail, and yet is so out of touch with the reality of work that it couldn't get by without the bloke on the job using his own initiative? The 'free press' which is tied to the patronage of its advertisers; or the unbiased news which just happens to carry the values of a tiny minority, making them the ideas of the majority? The things we are teased into . wanting so as to keep the market boom Undercurrents 10 ing, instead of the market being there to supply what we want? The boast of equal opportunity, and the different schools for the rich, the clever and the poor? The whole outfit run for profit, and not for social use and need? The worldwide pledge that all are born equal, and the secondclass rating of people of darker colours, lower classes and women everywhere? The new tyrannies we see grown up in the name of ending tyranny? The small countries which are independent, yet bleeding to death under the heel of Big Power troops, Big Power money, or both? The aid to them which leaves them more strangled than before; and the home taxpayer feeling he has helped some ungrateful children? The starving millions throughout the world, when there is enough, at least at present, to feed them all? The Bomb which few people on any side really want, yet which could end it 'all for us in a few minutes time; or the still more horrific chemical and biological weapons? The pollution of the world, and the rape of its resources while our numbers increase by millions every year? Well, what about them?
UC10 R6/1: page 69

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 70

We believe that these things (and many more you probably wanted to add) are not things wrong with the world. They all exist because of what's wrong with the world: they are symptoms of the illness, not the illness itself. I f we were wrong; if they were just things wrong by them­selves, then many of them would have been put right by now. For some of them are too dangerous or inhuman for any human people who were themselves, and who were in control of themselves, to allow. The world is not all bad What do we have that's good? Firstly, a measure of political. freedom. This means that there is no law stopping us from becoming Prime Minister, 'or a millionaire. We are not denied the poli­tical right to stand on a soap box at Hyde Park Corner, to meet with others who share our views, to demonstrate our opposition to this or that i[injustice. We have the legal right to live in any part of the country or even to leave it, to change our job at any time, to buy a cottage or a mansion. There may be good reasons why we can't do any or all of these things, but they are not political reasons. We, in Britain, have political freedom. People who haven't got it know how important it is. We know that it doesn't put everything right. Next, there is paid social behaviour. There are many people who, though they go to work firstly for money, take pleasure and pride in their work as a social act in itself. We can straight away think of many doctors and nurses, teachers, engineers, craftsmen and trades­men of many kinds, even some people with what seem to be really lousy jobs. Then, there is voluntary social behaviour. People who, without pay and for all sorts of reasons, do things intended to help other people; from holding a door open for another person, to a lifetime of work for the mentally handicapped; from hot soup for the hungry, to political agitation for justice, Some of these actions have mixed results. An efficient voluntary service for the aged may bring real help to thousands, though it may also help society to dodge its debt to tens of thousands. But, taking all these things together, our lives here and now are better for the voluntary
UC10 R6/1: page 70

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 71

acts of those who care, and did care in the past. In adding up what's good, of course, we must be careful not to add things which are good for us because they are bad for other parts of the world. Our high standard of living is not good and would not be good even if it was fairly shared between us. We can buy a pound of sugar with ten minutes work because the man who cuts the sugar gets many times less for his work. Worse still, part of the reason why we have what justice we have is because the most powerful groups . are able to share some money and power with us and still stay powerful. They can do this by stealing new wealth from other parts of the world. They can go on steal­ing most easily from countries where only a smallgroup in power wants a cut, and the rest have no say. For us in this country, the world around us is part good, part bad, part stolen. And behind it all, there is some­thing very wrong with the world. Many books have been written to explain why the world is like this. Out of them all comes one simple central idea: the world is as it is because we are all living against each other; it cannot be different until we live for each other. We take this simple statement to be so / obviously true that it does not need to be proved or explained. 22 The trouble is that what's wrong is in two parts: part of it is the way the world is, and part of it is the way we are. Not only that, but neither part is the way it is by accident, nor is it free to be different on its own. The way we are is fixed by the rules, and the rules are fixed by the way we are. By the rules, we mean not only the law but the way work is organised, the way society is organised, in fact, everything that adds up to a complete way of life. Politics and morality ­Reform or Revolution? Many people have said: "The world is the way it is because we are all wicked, so we must start changingour ways to get a better world. " This is a personal or moral approach. Others have said: "We behave as we do because the rules of society are wrong; we need to change the rules. " This is apolitical approach. Political workers choose one of two ways to try to bring change: reform and revolution. The reformer assumes that society is basically good, and
UC10 R6/1: page 71

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 72

that the bad things can be put right little by little. The revolutionary assumes that society is But what changes are possible in a society of people who are Iiving against each other? The pressure for power to be shared does not come from the very bottom, but always from a group which has grown in identity and selfconfidence on the edge of power. Barons in one age, clerics in another, merchants in another, managers in another, organised labour in I' another, students in another. The sharing is seldom equal, and each time there is less to share. Society becomes a great pyramid with many groups arranged according to their bargaining power. Few groups haw; great power, and few have none. To take account of, and to try and fix these changes, the rules are changed. . They become more and more compIicated. How far can reform go? In theory all the way to full, hostile equality. The end of the reformist road is the Conservative dream: a property owning democracy; equality in,competition; all the forces of greed and ambition in perfect balance. Luckily for us, this nightmareparadise is unlikely to be reached, though it is the goal for which reformers of all political parties are working, whether they know it or not. As the forces of society slowly wear down the pinnacle of total power, so the corruption of power penetrates every level of society. This in turn undermines the drive to reform. The point today is not so much that the top two per cent still own four fifths of the wealth (or whatever) but that the rest of us are prepared to fight each other for what's left. So the very fact of living against each other sets a limit to how far reform can
UC10 R6/1: page 72


rotten, and must be broken down before a better one can be built.


Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 73

go. When a society gets to this point, we can say that it is 'mature'. The great ages of reform have ended. W should be grateful for all the reforms that have been won usually in the teethof bitter opposition. They make life for most of us better than it would have been: but they " still leave things very wrong. The worst thing about the mature society is this: some institutions, once used by a powerful group to keep other people in their place, or to live on their backs, become living monsters in their own right. Examples of these are the Church establishment, the money system and the Party, or political bureaucracy ­ often after a political revolution. These living monsters grow so powerful that they dominate our whole lives. Weak and strong alike, we become robots to their inhuman laws. This is the stage of alienation proper. Some people refuse to believe this pro­cess is happening: you can't see,this sort of monster as you can see a person. So they blame the managers of the money system or the groups which gain most from it. The argument is that since some groups are still able to take advantage of the money system, they must be running it. But the total powers needed to do this have been taken away by reform. A human tyranny has been curbed to release an inhuman one. How long does a mature society last? There doesn't seem to be any clear answer to this. Sometimes a country manages to keep going for a long time without any of the things we have mentioned reaching a crisis. The engine has no real driver, but it doesn't go off the rails. I n other cases, a society starts to break up even as it begins to mature: Mostly, it's somewhere between these limits. What happens then? History shows us that several things can happen. Occasionally, society disintegrates all together, giving way to a return of the 'dark ages'. More often, total revolution or foreign conquest (usually the latter) cancels all the rules, gives a new group total power, and the whole process starts again. More often still, the change is not so dramatic. Perhaps peacefully, perhaps via a coup or partial revolution, a strong man comes to power. He is able to take at least some control of the runaway engine at the price of many of the 'democratic practices' won from the
UC10 R6/1: page 73

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 74

old order. But the new restrictions on free­dom renew the drive to reform. Where does this leave reform and revolution? The reformist hope that the 'improvement' in the rules would itself change our ways, has not been met. The revolutionary insists that in the real revolution the people as a whole will take power. But this, as we have just seen, requires the people to be for each other as a whole . l the very condition which the revolution is, or should be outto achieve. Likewise, the reformer, seeking changes in the rules from competition to cooperation needed a real reforming drive in this direction from the people the rules were to change. So both reform and revolution require as a condition of success the very thing they intend to create a real human society. Escape or example? What about the personal or moral approach to change? Here again, we find two different ways of dealing with the problem: escape and example. The escapist believes that we are hope­lessly contaminated by the real world, and can only change ourselves by turning away from it. The exemplar believes that the world does allow us the options of being good and bad, and that the good in us can be increased by example and teaching. The attitudes of the revolu­tionary and the reformer can be seen in these positions, despite the difference between the personal and the political approaches. The escapist and the revolu­tionary reject the world as they find it. The exemplar and the reformer accept it as a foundation on which to build. Escape takes many forms. For some it is turning away from the dirty world of the body and of things, to the pure world of thought and of the spirit. For others, it is the more practical step of . withdrawing from modern alienated society to some small selfcontained com­munity of likeminded souls usually to a fairly primitive and hardy life. Many others simply drop out from personal cooperation with society and its values. The escape of the commune is more important Despite the hard conditions of life, it can produce a real satisfaction that begins outside
UC10 R6/1: page 74

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 75

rather than inside the head. The commune can and does ­also serve as a workshop, making and testing new community values and human attitudes. Yet the commune is not an escape which is open to society as a whole; the most isolated commune only has meaning in relation to the society. The second, personal or moral, approach to change, we have called example. In fact, most of those who try to change us this way rely more on teaching than on example. Many of them do not practice what they preach a fact not lost on the rest of us. The few who have backed up their words with actions have at least made some impact on man­kind. Attempts to educate us into being good vary. The" first method is to put us right on the facts of life: showing, for instance, that cooperation rather than competition is the natural tendency of all forms of life, and our competitive existence is unnatural. But whether these facts are true or not, it is ridiculous to expect such revelations alone to change us. They may provide vital support to a cooperative practice but that's another story. " The second kind of moral teacher reveals to us that being good, and co­ operating with our fellows is in our own interests. If this were true, we would soon all be converts to the cause. Unfortunately, there is a big difference between everyone being good, and one person being good without waiting for the others you can end up being crucified that way. And an appeal to our own self­interest is itself in conflict with the ethics the teacher is trying to inculcate. Next comes the teaching of duty. We are told it's our duty to be good, to behave in a certain way. This amounts to an attempt, by internal conditioning rather than external force, to make us serve the interests of some other individual group or cause, past or present, before our own interests. The point about this kind of brainwashing is that the ethics are placed in our heads as given truths we are not invited to judge their merits. The true exemplars have been rare and exceptional men and women. They have sometimes attracted small bands of followers who have come near to match '" ing them; more still who tried to follow but could not face the total cost; and so on down to the millions who accepted their values in name only. So the ideas have made their way out at the price of
UC10 R6/1: page 75

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 76

being diluted to nothing. The problem is not one of staying in power: the ideas have often outlasted civilisations, commanding a faithful few,in each generation. The world has flinched under their impact; visions have been refueled. But the world, and we, have been changed less than the faithful might have expected. For any new values or ideas, there will always be a small number of people who are prepared by accidents of personality and life experience to accept them, and a smaller number of these who are prepared to be driven into a state of tension with their world in defence of them. But the exemplar is asking too much of the average person on both counts: to accept values for which his or her life style has not prepared him or her, and to defy the culture which sustains him or her. So the attempt to change us all by moral example and teaching alone, requires as the condition of its success a world which already endorses the desired values. We have now looked at politics the attempt to change ourselves by changing the world; and morality, as the attempt to change the world by changing our­selves. We have seen how each attempt tends to be defeated by the two way connection or dialectic between them. Cutting across this division is the difference between acceptance and rejection of what is already there. So we count four basic positions which a radical may hold: revolutionary, reformer, escapist teacher. The point to note is that none of them can be written off as rubbish, for each has hold of aspects" of the truth. THE COMMUNITY LEVY for Alternative Projects was started at the beginning of last year by Nicholas Albery of BIT Information. Two years earlier BIT had an unusual problem call: "I've been left £20,000 and don't know what to do with it. Any ideas?" Nick suggested ways to get rid of the problem including an' 'alternative society ideas pool' to avoid the word 'competition' with a prize of cheque for the prize money was a few hundred short with a note from the donor's friend who sent it: "sorry, old chap, but I've creamed off a bit for a favourite project of my own. " Over 300 entries came in all sorts of zany schemes were entered from destruct­ive to frivolous my favourite was to develop a device to put out blazing ships at sea by quickly ducking them under the water. But a lot of
UC10 R6/1: page 76

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 77

serious projects arose that couldn't get money elsewhere because they didn't fit into society's framework. . So CLAP was to fulfill this role of financing alternative projects on a regular basis by placing a voluntary tax on established projects. The idea was that any going organisation has a turnover of money and won't be broken by giving say 2% not of profit, but of total turnover to new projects. And to avoid a hier­archy deciding which projects get the money, the donors would give direct to the projects they like CLAP only acting to put givers in touch with takers. Purely in terms of money CLAP has been an amazing success, averaging over £3,000 every twomonthly payout. And it's had another important side effect of putting people in touch who have projects listed in the CLAP Handbook which is included with Peace News. But, as a tax it's so far been a failure. Most of the money. comes from generous individuals; nearly all the rest is lump sums from organisations hardly any is a percentage of turnover or individuals' income. Why worry? Personally, I'm not worried where the money comes from (it's said the most generous donor runs blue movie clipjoints) but it's unlikely. to keep flowing in a depression. But if the same amount came from a lot of indi­viduals and organisations each giving 2%, then it would be a much more stable situation and could expand indefinitely without anyone feeling the pinch. Travelling around the country over the last year researching my new book Alter­native England and Wales, I've found the CLAP Handbook a useful source of con­tacts but one aspect does worry me. The writeups in the handbook aren't a clear indication of what's happening or likely to happen someone can do a con­vincing writeup of a scheme that's only in his head while others have really gat it all together except the writing. But I can't see a good answer to this: do you vet the schemes like the new Northern CLAP pro­pose, and if so doesn't this bring in similar problems of the people applying putting on a show the roots of PR? The Northern CLAP people reckon they all know who's. who but I don't like the sound of that much better. . As I see it the problem goes very deep
UC10 R6/1: page 77

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 78

1 first, what right has one person got to say what other person. is OK? Secondly, can anyone, even the person himself, say whether he's got the energy to carry out his plans? So often people say that it's only lack ofmoney stopping them going whatever it is and they firmly believe it. Yet in reality it's often that they just haven't got the energy and aren't pre­pared to risk failure. To give a safely I irrelevant example, a shopkeeper down Kings Road decided to make over a big space for artists to hold free exhibitions since he was always hearing them com­plain that the galleries were too commercial. But, to cut a long story short, four out of the first five keen artists to book it never got it together. I'd be surprised if the proportion of CLAP projects that get money and then do what they said they would is any higher. To enable one in five supported pro­jects to succeed is certainly worthwhile on the obvious level, but maybe CLAP's most important function is to teach some of the other four who fail: that it's inside them where the difficulties really lie. n For further information contact CLAP c/ o BIT, 146 Great Western Road, London WI1.

UC10 R6/1: page 78

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 79

Solar Collectors pages 25 30 Low Impact Design/Undercurrents
'To Catch In Flight The Sunlight . . . ' THIS ARTICLE is about solar collectors, to which I shall proceed elliptically, But first; trees: I think that I will never see A poem as beautiful as a tree. Spike Milligan Nor a building, that's certain. Trees are exquisite photo chemical manufactories, drawing their energy from the sun. Almost all of their material is from the earth's fluids the atmosphere and water. Soil itself supplies only tiny quantities of inorganic minerals. Jan Van Helmont grew a large tree in a bucket in the seventeenth century; the weight of soil remained unchanged. Diagram 1 is a simplified representation of photosynthesis, and reveals that every plant and trees are the best adapted of all to do this on a grand scale is a highly evolved device to . . . " . . . catch in flight the sunlight streaming towards the earth, and to store this, the most evasive o(,all forces, by converting it into an immobile form" Julius. Robert von Mayer in 1845. Catch it, and store it: the two engineer­ing problems of solar design. You see, trees are solar collectors; exquisite, evolved, ubiquitous, vastly varied, beautiful and slaughtered. So here's your first doityourself solar project go out and plant something. Watch your solar collector grow, and give you food and oxygen So the simplest, most elegant way of obtaining solar heating is by burning brother wood. Your storage problems are overcome, your hardware is selfrenewing, requires little maintenance, and so long as you graze, not rape, your landscape ­looks beautiful too. You get useful by­products, healthy energy (wood warms you twice; once when you chop it) and a sense of integration. A fast grower, like a hazel coppice, produces 1 ton per acre per year of croppings; 2 tons heats a small house through a year.
UC10 R6/1: page 79

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 80

OK, I know you want to build solar collectors. We're going to tell you how, but we must realise that we're infants of the technocracy, and great chunks of tin on your roof are in no sense alternative technology. They started life as ore, half a world away, and have been thoroughly chomped by highenergy processes since. Diagram 2 CLIMATE Pause again, and learn another lesson from trees. Because we in Britain have a climate problem. All the enthusiasm, all the data, all the freaks, NASA and all, are from America (though a little information trickles North from Australia and France). And there they have sunshine. America is a large landmass, our small one is heavily influenced by the seas. Large landmasses get cold winters and hot summers, and, away from the coast, yearround bright skies. We all know that maritime climates bring year round grey skies, with little direct sun. Diagram 2 makes this clear. We get about 1200 hours of direct sun yearly, according to this map. New Mexico gets nearly 4000. New Mexico is the home of solarenergy workers. High, cold, bright. Here's a plug. Write to Zomeworks P. O. Box 712 Albuquerque NM 87103, USA for Steve Baer's Solar Book$3 + $1. 50 p&p). It's full of insight and understanding, by a man who's actually done it. Better than any other publication I know' for the feel of the thermal environment. But there, in NM, when they need sunlight they have it, right there on their wintertime south walls. Here, though, the classic crunch occurs: when you want it, you don't have it. We need it at night, in winter. We get it in the day, in summer. Occasionally. Now a flatplate solar collector is con­ceptually very simple, and it works beautifully in New Mexico. But here, the technology just doesn’t import. And the trees tell you why (I said I was still with the trees). Take a hotclimate low­latitude palmtree, and compare it with the English elm. Both are highly adapted, to get the carbon dioxide and water together in
UC10 R6/1: page 80

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 81

the presence of sunlight. The palm has ample sun and has to conserve water, and has' therefore a small crown of tough leaves. '­The elm is not limited by water, but spreads a great cauliflower of leaves to trap and retrap the diffuse, reflected radiation that gets through the cloud­cover from the whole bright sky While the palm is nature's precursor of the flatplate solar collector, the elm is nature's triumphant answer to a tricky' design problem. So you want to build flatplate collectors here in England? Well, at least the problem is easily defined. You need a very large area, collecting from the whole sky. It has to work when the sun comes out, but mostly when it doesn't. It has to swing into action pretty quickly when the photons do zap through, though. It has to closedown elegantly to weather the winter. It has to get the energy into store rapidly and lock it in securely. It has to be happy working at fairly low temperatures. Just like an elm. Translating the above requirements into engineering reality produces a system like this: Very large collector plates, at lowish, uncritical angle to the horizontal, with uncritical orientation. Rapid, accurate control system sensitive to brightovercast and brightclear conditions, activating pumped fluid system. Thermistor control accurate to about 2°C, but not prone to 'hunting'. Very thin collector plates with thin allover film of water or other heattransfer fluid (why heat the tin if ya want hot water?). Long heatstorage period (large storage mass). For reasons we'll go into in subsequent articles, we think about two months' heat require­ment is most sensible. And you've got to find a use for lowtemperature heat. (You'll never escape the need for a 'back­up system' of conventional type. Or you're into heat pumps. ) The system has to weather wind and rain, winter cold and equinoctial gales. Has to be exceptionally well insulated, or else work at temper­atures so close to ambient (or even below, using heatpumps) that insulation doesn't matter. And it has to look good, other­wise your local planning Neanderthals won't let you build it. So far, no manufacturer is remotely close to solving these problems in a way that competes with existing power sources. And the only economically­viable installation is a wellinformed doityourself design using readymade collector plates originally designed for domestic central heating radiators, in other words.
UC10 R6/1: page 81

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 82

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT SOLAR COLLECTORS I've heard a lot about solar collectors recently. What are they? The simplest flatplate collectors consist of four elements: a blackened receiv­ing surface/heat exchanger; a covering plate of glass or plastic; insulation behind the heat exchanger; and a weathertight frame. A fluid air,'or refrigerant, but usually water circulates through the heat exchanger and carries the heat off to store. We will think mainly in terms of watercooled collectors, and there are two main types. A closed system, which circulates water through pipes in the heat exchanger; and an open system which trickles water down over the face of the exchanger. The flat plate collector works best if it is tilted up to face the sun, and is oriented due South. The best tilt is equal to angle of latitude J52° here in S. England) plus 15 for midsummer; and minus 15° for midwinter. Tilt and orient­ation are not critical in Britain, because such a large proportion of the energy received is scattered wholesky radiation. Most roofs, therefore, are suitable for a collector installation, and pitch can be left unchanged through the year. Although simple in principle, solar collectors by their nature create a situa­tion of high thermal stress. Thermal movement and condensation are impor­tant practical problems. Ultraviolet light degrades plastics and paints rapidly, and wind creates difficulties. Pipes have to be taken through roofs, and this is not easy to do without making the roof leak. How does a flatplate collector work? Glass and some plastics (Mylar and Tedlar by Du Pont) are transparent to shortwave radiation (light) and almost opaque to longer wavelength (heat) radiation. Light passes through the glass, and is partly absorbed by the blacksurfaced heat exchanger. Black is the best colour for absorbing light. Between 60% and 90% of the light energy is absorbed, degrades to heat, is carried off by the high thermal conductivity of the heat exchanger, and passes into the circulating fluid. The hot . exchanger surface radiates heat back towards the glass, which cannot transmit it back to space; some of the heat is absorbed by the glass, some reflected back to the heat exchanger. This oneway property of glass is known as the 'green­house effect'. The carbondioxide of the atmosphere does the same for the whole earth. Heat is lost by a solar collector largely by conduction and convection. The pro­portion of the incoming radiant energy which ends up in. the
UC10 R6/1: page 82

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 83

storage tank (usually heated water, sometimes rocks) defines the efficiency of the collector system for any given set of conditions temperature of store, incoming flux, losses by wind­flow, etc. etc. Noone has yet agreed a standard set of conditions for measuring efficiency, and everyone quotes efficiency for, of course, the best conditions for their collector. Most systems are between 30% and 40% efficient. Their losses are minimised by: good insulation; reducing internal air con­vection (with baffles); eliminating con­densation; maximising absorption by the heatexchanger by uS,ing special, very matt black, surfaces; running collectors cool; and double glazing to cut down con­duction and convection losses from the front (though this also cuts down incom­ing energy by 8% for the first additional layer of glass). Almost all collectors on the market perform very similarly, because losses are common to them aiL The design of the actual collector plate or heatexchanger is uncritical, and cheap­ness is the main criterion for its selection. Your average roof covers, say, 40 m2 in plan, and so in midwinter gets 16KWh/day. A well insulated house stays warm with a continuous power consumption of ,3 KW, which is equivalent to 72 KWh of energy per day. So you see, midwinter solar energy in Britain is of very little use. The midsummer story is a different one. There's no heating load for the house, and the main requirement is for hot water for washing and similar tasks. Take that 4. 6 KWh/m2 day and allow for a 30% efficient collector system. Sliding back into the old Imperial measure, 4. 6 KWh x 30% = 1. 38 KWh. 1. 38 KWh x 3413 = 4710 Btu. Now think of a 25 gallon bath full of water(250 Ibs) heated from 50°F to a piping hot 150°F. The heat required to do this is 25 x 10x 100 = 25,000 Btu. So a 1 m2 horizontal solar panel will heat about I/5th of a bath, daily in summer. Mostly, you would be advised to have 4m2 of panel and this would normally be tilted up to the South, so giving a slightly better yield than a horizontal array. On an average day such an array would therefore give you energy" equal to the heating load of a bath, or in the order of Y2 the hot water load of an average small household. Now, this does not mean that you get a store of water at the right temperature for use, not
UC10 R6/1: page 83

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 84

even one that is too small for all your" needs. (If that were true, we could all take economical 5 gallon showers. ) This is because solar,collectors work best at low temperatures. (Smaller losses, and ' better heat transfer into the water. ) So what you get is a largish body of water, lukewarm. And you therefore need a backup system such as the dreaded 1 ] " I It

electric immersion heater. If you were to

attempt to get fullyhot water, you'd have to be con tent with teacups fuII on 10 or 20 days a year. ' Solar collectors are designed to collect from direct radiation, and the best for us are those that heat up smartly when the sun comes out from behind a cloud, arid i j

which have small thermal mass. At the moment, plastic collectors are apparently the best (see Product Reviews section); pressed steel radiators are not quite as J good, and 'purpose made' plates, made up from sheets of copper, steel or aluminium . with pipes attached, are worst of all, being usually clumsy with overlarge water pipes spaced too far apart on their surfaces. ' A blackpainted standard central heating radiator of pressed steel is the ideal do­ityourself answer. But surely in our cloudy climate we don't get much energy from the sun? Well we do get some, and times are rough, so we should look at the possibilities. At SOoN, we would theoretically, under clear skies, receive 8. 6 KWh/ m2 day in MidJune, 4. 3 KWh/m2 day in MidSeptember and March, and 1. 3 KWh/m2 day in MidDecember on a horizontal surface. Measurements at Kew show average figures for actual receipts of 4. 6
UC10 R6/1: page 84


Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 85

KWh/m2 day for MidJune and 0. 4 KWh/m2 day in MidDecember. These figures include the scattered radiation from the bright but cloudy skybowl. So we get between about a half and one third of the total available sun energy, depending on time of year. The world's sunniest climates get about 80% of the total energy. So we do get enough energy to do something. If I put a solar collector on my roof, how could I work out in advance the energy I'd receive? Here are some simple approximate formulae, largely taken from a research paper by Robert Vale, Results of Solar Collector Study, available (price 40p + s. a. e. ) from: University of Cambridge Dept. of Architecture, Technical Research Division, 1, Scroope Terrace, Cambridge CB2 1 PX. The formulae below will give values for various tilted collectors pointing due South. But Steve Baer gives the following table showing the percentage of possible sunshine intercepted by a plane orientated away from the sun by the number of degrees shown. o degrees 100% 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 99. 6% 98. 5% 96. 5% 94. 0% 90. 6% 86. 6% 81. 9% 76. 6% 70. 7% 64. 3% 57. 4% 50% 42. 3%
UC10 R6/1: page 85

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 86

70 75 80 85 90

34. 2% 25. 8% 17. 4% 8. 7% 0%

Use this table to modify your result if the collector you're installing is not due South. In fact, the use of the table in this way is not strictly correct, but it'll give an approximation quite a good one if your collector is within 40% of due South. Over 40°, reflective losses from the surface of the glass cover begin to be important. FORMULAE FOR CALCULATIONS To calculate the monthly Direct energy receipt of a collector: In a given month a collector at angle e to the horizontal receives 0. 698 I n sin(e+a) KWh/m2/month where I is the average monthly intensity of direct solar radiation on days of high radiation, measured in cal/cm2/ minute on a surface normal to the radiation. n is the number of hours of bright sunshine in the month e is the angle between the collector surface and the horizontal a is the average solar altitude in the month under consideration. To calculate the monthly Indirect energy receipt of a collector: In a given month a collector at angle b to the horizontal receives 0. 698 i n Y2(1 +cos e) KWh/m2/month of collectable indirect radiation where i is the average monthly back­ground diffuse radiation intensity intensity, measured in cal/cm2/ minute on a horizontal surface; n is the number of hours of bright sunshine in the month (this value is introduced because it is only on days of high radiation that indirect radiation can be collected at useful temperatures); and e is the angle between the collector surface and the horizontal. The actual available energy will be 30% to 40% of these calculated receipts, depending on efficiency of your
UC10 R6/1: page 86

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 87

collector. Here is a worked example of the cal­culations for a 1 m2 collector, due South, 45° tilt, at Kew, in March. DIRECT RECEIPTS . = 0. 698 I n sin (e+a) KWh/m2/month now, = 0. 62 cal/cm2 min, and is obtained by averaging the Met. Office data for Kew, given by Robert Vale as follows Jan 0. 41 cal/cm2 min Feb 0. 49 " Mar 0. 62 :' Apr 0. 65 " May 0. 76 " Jun 0. 77 " Jul 0. 63 " Aug 0. 71 " Sep 0. 63 " Oct 0. 57 " Nov 0. 46 " Dec 0. 41 " (These figures should be increased by 10% for the South West, and reduced by 20% for the North of England and Scotland. ) n = 110, and is available for 19 locations throughout Britain, check the Met. Office for your nearest, but here are some figures for Kew: Jan 43 hours Feb 63 Mar 110 Apr 168 May 198 Jun 220 Jul 192 •
UC10 R6/1: page 87

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 88

Aug 190 Sep 137 Oct 96 Nov 55 Dec 40 (Kew is one of the sunniest places around, so reduce these figures, or obtain local ones for your area. ) e = 45°, a = 31, it is taken as the angle of solar elevation at 10. 00 or 14. 00 hours in mid­month, and can be read off this table: Jan 12° Feb 22° Mar 31° Apr 41° May 50° Jun 54° Jul 50° Aug 41° Sep 31° Oct 22° Nov 12° Dec 7° So for this example, 31° is the angle for March. So 0. 698 x 0. 62 x 113 x sin (45+31) = 47. 4 KWh/m2month INDIRECT RECEIPTS = 0. 698 i n Y2 (1 + case) now i = 0. 22, and is obtained by averaging Kew data from Robert Vale as follows: Jan 0. 08 Feb 0. 16 Mar 0. 22 Apr 0. 29 May 0. 36 Jun 0. 39 Jul . 0. 36 Aug 0;29 Sep 0. 22 Oct 0. 16 Nov 0. 08 Dec 0. 05 These figures are probably OK to use throughout the country. So 0. 698 x 0. 22 x 113 x Y2 (1 + 0. 71) = 14. 7 KWh/m2 month. Therefore total receipt of energy =47. 4+14. 7=62. 1 KWh/m2month. Allowing 30% efficiency, Usable heat= 18. 6 KWh/m2 month. These formulae were used to compile this table for the monthly energy receipt of a theoretical 1 m2, 45° collector at Kew, 30% efficient. RECEIPTS (KWh/month) Jan Mar Jun Sep
UC10 R6/1: page 88

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 89

Direct Indirect Total 13. 1 Actual

11. 0 47. 0 113. 3 62. 1 2. 1 14. 7 62. 1 49. 2 18. 5 162. 5 80:6

3. 9 18. 6 48. 8 24. 2

Compare this with a monthly hotwater requirement for a small household of about 70100 KWh. What can I do with this energy? Solar collectors can be installed to pro­vide both space and water heating,but before such an installation is considered, an estimate should be made of your space/water heating requirements. If you're thinking of space heating, the standard of installation in your abode is critical in reducing heating needs. It has been shown that an overall U value (= loss in watts/m2 °C) equivalent to four inches of polystyrene insulation is now economic (cost of insulation amortised against fuel savings), although the new building code on in. insulation goes nowhere near this. The same applies to the insulation of your domestic hot water system ­ we have 4" glass wool + reflective foil around our hot water cylinder and water raised to 65°C will stay hot for 3 days before requiring another boost. Even with a high standard of insulation, you will) find that unless you have a very large area of collector, or a very large heat store (both of which are excessively costly) that you will not be able to meet peak heating demand in Dec/Jan, In fact, we have found that a break point is reached when about 60% of the heating demand is met by flat plate collectors; beyond this point a relatively larger area of collector must be provided for a corres­ponding reduction of heating demand. It seems sensible to limit the area of flat plate collector to that which will provide 60% of the heating demand, and to meet residual peak demand by conventional (fossil fuel) or unconventional (sheepskin coat) means. Would I save money? Could I doit­myself? The cheapest readymade solar collector available is a standard pressed steel panel radiator (about £6/m2) and if you have ' general building and plumbing skills, such a system would be straightforward to install. Standard radiators have their dis­advantages, and they may not be as 'efficient' as some manufactured panels ­but then, since they are less
UC10 R6/1: page 89

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 90

expensive, you can afford a bigger area. Most solar collectors being marketed in this country are too expensive to be worthwhile, and, often technically mis­conceived. The pamphlets describing them often incorporate unsubstantiated claims and misleading information. But maybe these are just teething problems; with time technical problems can be ironed out, and with a growing market their prices could come down. About 4 m2 of collector will preheat your washing water for 68 months of the year, saving about £20 p. a. at a cost of £300£400 if bought offtheshelf (includ­ing plumbing and tanks). Allow say a 10year payback allowing for price escalation of fossil fuels, and the market looks limited. If you're considering space heating, about 40 m2 of collector will give perhaps 60% of the space heating needs of a small house, but will still need a conventional backup system, and will cost about £2,000. (Based on anticipated performance of Szokolay's Milton Keynes prototype solarheated house. ) Collectors are being marketed at prices ranging from £20£80/m2, glazed, insulated, but uninstalled. The companies are mainly backyard businesses: there is no largescale manufacturer in Britain. Unless manufacturers can roughly halve the cost of a total installation then the situation will remain strongly in favour of the group or individual building their own system. The DIY man can buy and install a domestic water preheating system (4m2 collector + tanks and plumbing) for £150, saving money after probably 6 years. Ian Hogan and Brian Ford HOT COMPETITOR Sunheat Systems Ltd. Barn House, Kemerton, Nr. Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire APART FROM heating water, the Salamander solar collector seems likely to raise still further the temperature of com­petition between the numerous small companies now manufacturing solar collectors in Britain. Out of what many people have come to feel is the unacceptable face of AT, has come a solar collector made in this count for this country; and at
UC10 R6/1: page 90

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 91

around £17/m (for the ABS plastic heat exchanger only) it's the least expensive in its field. UK manufacturers have tended to follow blindly the early example of the Israelis and Americans in using a metal (copper, aluminium or galvanized steel) collector plate. However in the UK, where the intensity of solar radiation is very variable even on sunny days, a collector which responds quickly to periods of intermittent sunshine will prove to be more effective. Th is 'quick response' can be achieved by providing a thin film of water which covers virtually the whole of the back of the collector plate, enabling more of the heat absorbed by the plate to be conducted away more quickly. In effect this is what the Salamander collector does. The front of the collector is made from . 062 ins thick matt black ABS plastic sheet, and the back is . 031 ins thick corrugated ABS moulded sheet with 'header' pipes moulded at top and bottom of the vertical grooves. (The material is claimed to be resistant to ultra­violet radiation. ) The two sheets are welded together to form the heat exchanger, which contains only 31/3 Iitres of water per square metre, with an inlet and outlet from headers at the back. This basic unit is available for anybody wanting to frame and insulate it them­selves, and costs about half the price of the completed unit, which incorporates an extruded aluminium frame, % in insulation and 4 mm glazing, and sells at about £30/m2• Plumbing connections are taken out of the baCk of the collector, and units are connected in parallel. Brackets are pro­vided to join panels together and to pro­vide angle supports for fixing to roof battens. Joins between panels are made watertight by use of flexible plastic strip, and a 'flashing' is used to make good between the edges of roof tiles and the sides of the collector A pumped, indirect circulation system is recommended which heats water in a small tank. This then feeds preheated water into the base of the main hot water cylinder A simple dual thermistor control
UC10 R6/1: page 91

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 92

unit is used to switch on the circulating pump when the temperature of the water in the collector panel is above that in the solar tank. For people with limited hot water requirements, Sunheat suggest the use of a single, wallmounted panel connected directly to a five gallon storage tank, which could provide hot water straight to an adjacent sink or basin. Brian Ford Manufacturers in this country now pro­ducing flat plate solar collectors. D. O. M. Engineering Ltd (Mr. Sharpley) Wellington Industrial Estate Nr. Taunton, Devon. Solar Heat Ltd (Mr. Blanco) 99 Middleton Hall Road Kings Norton, Birmingham 30. Production Methods Ltd (Mr. T. Aitken) Barrhead, Scotland. 'Warmswim' Solar Panels Drake and Fletcher (engineers) Maidstone, Kent. Sunstor Solar Water Heaters Solar Centre 176 Ifield Road Chelsea, London SWl 0 9AF. Stellar Heat Systems Ltd(MF. F. McDonnell) 113 Stokes Croft, Bristol. (See UC9 pp. 1112) Sunheat Systems Ltd (Mr. Dobson) Barn House, Kemerton. Nr. Tewkesburv. Gloucs.

UC10 R6/1: page 92

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 93

Land For The People page 31
1. Land is Life! Man must work the land for food and life. Agriculture is the one mode of production with which humans cannot dispense under any circumstances. 2. Land ultimately cannot be owned by anybody. Land is constant while human life is transient upon it. It is the duty of every generation to leave the land as vigorous and fertile as they found it, in order not to diminish the chances of future. generations. 3. At present the land in Britain is "owned" by far less than 1 % of the popu­lation. Those who work it farmers and agricultural workers represent only 1% of the people. Half of Britain's food is imported and yet there is enough land to feed everybody. Greater food self­sufficiency can only be achieved if agri­culture ceases to be the private concern of a tiny minority. 4. Present agricultural practices aim at maximising yield per person and machine, but due to cost explosion this system is coming unstuck. Industrialised agri­culture is experiencing a crisis which can only be resolved by drastic changes: agriculture can only be revitalised by more people being engaged in it, on the basis of cooperation rather than com­ petition. But people will not 'go back' to the land if they have to look forward to a life of drudgery and subservience, on somebody else's farm. 5. In every economy a balance must be achieved between agriculture and industry, between country and town. The 'principle' that food must be imported from wherever it is cheapest is' dead: nobody is prepared to sell us cheap food any longer. But greater food self­sufficiency, which is becoming increas­ingly necessary, cannot be achieved unless more people work the land, collectively and in the public interest. 6. At the present time nearly all develop­ment taking place upon the land is residential, traffic or industrial develop­ment. How the inhabitants of new towns are to be fed is never taken into con­sideration; it is taken for granted. But due to speculative land prices the gardens of the houses in new towns are
UC10 R6/1: page 93

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 94

usually so small as to be incapable of feeding even a rabbit. New towns are geared to their inhabitants being employed by industry. 7. With permanent redundancies in some major industries becoming very likely, a 'return' to the land by hundreds of thousands of people will become a vital necessity. Agricultural growth is possible and desirable as industrial growth is becoming unlikely and even undesirable in western countries. We must work towards a new equivalence of agriculture and industry. ,. 8. The demand for the takeover of large areas of land for new farming villages is becoming increasingly popular. What such new villages shall actually look like nobody knows, only suggestions can be made at present. It must be clear to us, however, that we can no longer afford to be messy creatures, i. e. new communities must be the basis for ecologically sound activities, as far as both production and consumption are concerned. 9. Should n w farming communities aim solely at selfsufficiency or, in fact, at surplus production? As long as towns and cities exist, agricultural villages must be able to produce more food than they require for themselves. We must aim at high yields per acre achieved with methods of cultivation which can be sus­tained for many generations to come, indeed, indefinitely. To this end liberated agriculture, science,and industry must " work hand in hand. 10. In new villages gardening and farming should coexist with crafts and, possibly, smallscale industry. Many skills should be represented among the members of Undercurrents 10 every new community; at least all those skills required to build it and maintain it. Surplus production would enable new village communities to exchange their produce for necessary products of the cities. \ 11. The economics of the new village way of life must have the satisfaction of human needs at their centre, which also means that work itself must be satisfying. But every human need must be weighed up against its ecological consequences: if the fulfilment of a need or want today undermines the basis of human life tomorrow, it offers only a very dubious kind of satisfaction.
UC10 R6/1: page 94

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 95

12. Some sceptics might say: "But no body wants to leave the cities to live in farming villages. " But there is much evidence that they are wrong. It is well­known that many people are still being driven from the land who would love to stay if only they had the chance of a satisfactory life, economically and socially, as well as culturally. There are many people eager to live and work in the country who can't afford a few acres and a cottage. The redistribution of land (by popular demand) is a precondition for the creation of new and viable communities. Agriculture and industry must be under the control of those who do the work. But without a popular movement the necessary changes cannot be brought about. It is time that those who broadly. agree on these urgent issues join and work. together. If you are interested in joining a work & study group write to: Land for the People c/o 8a Leighton Crescent, London' NW5

UC10 R6/1: page 95

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 96

New Villages Now
MANY thousands of people in the cities have had enough ... they want to get out, onto the land ... but where can they go? What can you do if you don't have the money in the bank to buy a small holding? For a start the State now controls over 5 million acres of land! Much of this was previously 'owned' by landlords whose heirs couldn't pay the death duties. If the State has 'confiscated' land in the interest of the people, then the people must get access to it. If the people need land to work and to live on they must get together - and voice their demands, loudly and clearly. Another 16,000 agricultural workers (and their families) left farms in 1974 to take up work in factories or to join the growing queues outside labour exchanges in British towns and cities. Just 1% of the people are now working in British agriculture and that is the lowest percentage of any country in the world. The number of farm workers is shrinking almost as fast as the food import bills are growing. These are trends which we can no longer afford. There are clear indications that the limits of mechanisation in agriculture have been reached and that the productivity per person can grow no further. In some areas the productivity per acre of land has been decreasing in the past few years due to deteriorating soil conditions. After the oil crisis some sections o( industry will never be- the same again. It seems clear now that at least in the car industry there will be permanent redundancies. This will have serious repercussions for everyone. At a time of growing unemployment in industry it is becoming apparent that we have neglected the land and all its marvellous potential. If we say 'Back to the Land' we are not trying to run away from reality, on the contrary, we are facing up to it! It is clear now that we ourselves must grow much more of the food we require. In other words, that we must establish a new balance between agriculture and industry, between country and town. We can no longer afford to treat agriculture as the neglected child of the economy. Growing food is the basis of human existence and it is time that we gave it more thought than we are accustomed to. In order for Britain to become selfsufficient foodwise more people must work the land. But nobody will choose to go and work in the country under the sort of conditions that are offered to
UC10 R6/1: page 96

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 97

farm workers at present. Agriculture can only be revitalised when new patterns or working and living on the land have been evolved. Smallholdings, cultivated by individual tenant farmers, are not the answer: The work of smallholders is hard, lonely and unrewarding and their families suffer from isolation and lack of social life. This makes their situation little . better than that of farm workers. Many have given up under these conditions and left the land. If-people are to return to the land, and if we are serious about growing more of our food ourselves, we must find new solutions! We must find new ways of working and of living on the land. It seems to me that it is necessary to build new villages which would have gardening and farming, crafts and small scale industry a,s their economic base. What could such villages look like? How big should they be? What is said here in words and pictures is meant merely as a suggestion. The value of utopian ideas is. often being disputed by people engaged in struggle ... but here are some anyway. Conventional thinking and collective action without clear aims in our minds will not solve the problems we are facing. It is among other things the setting of houses which may or may not contribute to the harmonious relationship between humans and their environment and between one person and another. In the sort 'of village I propose home and place of work are closely linked together: the garden surrounding each house should be large enough to supply at least all the vegetable food required by the household; the fields adjoining the village -. which could be farmed collectively should supply the rest of the food required by the community as well as a surplus which could be sold; cooperative workshops - maybe in the centre of the village -could cater for the needs of the community as well as providing additional income from 'trade'. In this kind of setting children would have the opportunity to learn crafts and skills from an early age. The aim of education in such a community would be for children to acquire a wide range of_ practical knowledge as a basis from which to develop their intellects. I am suggesting the concept of circular gardens for the proposed type of
UC10 R6/1: page 97

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 98

community for a number of reasons: it makes possible a lay-out in which each house has an adjoining garden of equal size. It avoids the boring straight lines resulting from a chess board pattern, or, for example, from a pattern of interlocking hexagons. The spaces in between gardens could be planted with trees, and in particular, with fruit and nut trees for the benefit of the community as a whole. There would also be ample space for children's play. If the community was to produce an agricultural surplus this would probably be done best by cultivating grains, potatoes, sweet corn and other crops that can be stored easily, on land adjoining the village. Cows, sheep and other animals, too, should be kept by the community as a whole. The level of mechanisation in collective farming activities would depend - among other things - on the scale of the operation. I would opt for as little mechanisation as would seem practical and the same applies to the use of artificial fertilizers and other chemicals. Advanced organic farming methods have been proved to be highly productive. The drawings suggest a village consisting of about ninety houses for around 500 people. If there are 5 to 6 people per house a garden of about 3A of an acre should be large enough to make them. self-sufficient in vegetable food. If the gardens and the spaces between them are added together the community as a whole should be about ninety acres ilarger sn area. Of course, that is a lot of land per person and this sort of lay-out goes completely against present planning principles in ' which people are piled together on as little space as possible. But we must recognise that the average yield per acre in vegetable gardening is much higher than that achieved in larger scale farming. It would seem very likely then, that by building such a village on agricultural land we would actually be able to increase the yield from these 90 acres. In order to make this sort of new village viable economically there should be several hundred acres of land around the community available for collective farming. I t is obvious, that not everybody in the village would work on the land fulltime. Some people would be engaged mainly in craft production and would help out on the land only during the sowing and harvesting seasons. Others might spend a couple of hours a day working on the farm. The pain Us that there would be many people available to help work the land and to increase its fertility. You may say: Who would give up the present consumer way of life and would want to
UC10 R6/1: page 98

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 99

join such a community? It seems to me that the considerable response that I and other writers on this topic have had from a number of articles that have been published, is a clear indication that there is a considerable amount of interest and willingness to participate. There would be some problems of adjustment to such a way of life which should not be underrated. But I reckon it would be easier to adjust to this kind of life than to the rat race which ,most people never seem to get used to. What I have suggested here is merely meant as a stimulus to think along new lines, but there may well be other solutions to some of the problems I h:l':~ listed. It would be foolish to impose a pattern of identical sized round gardens on an already we'll structured landscape and I am not suggesting that for one moment. A way of life which can be sustained over long periods of time will require a much more even dispersal of the population throughout the available land. The sort of village j am proposing would be a first step in that direction. It would be an excellent setting for trying out new kinds of energy saving architecture and technology. In the past decades we have been busy trying to fulfil wants without really knowing what our needs are. I f we adopt a more natural way of life we might find out. Herbert Girardet

UC10 R6/1: page 99

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 100

Talking About Land (Where have all the farmers gone?)
FARMERS WHO HAVE TIME to confer together are usually well-heeled, established, hard-headed businessmen who have achieved - not, it must be admitted, without much hard work a position where they can afford both time and money to take anything from one to four days off and travel far from their farms. The Oxford Farming Conference of 5-7th January 1975 was no exception, and it was perhaps a little paradoxical to hear so much of their desperate situation when 850 of them could converge on Oxford for this occasion to debate the theme 'Farming for Survival?' Those in danger of not surviving were no doubt hard at it on their farms. As one speaker from the floor pointed out towards the end of the Conference, it could hardly be regarded as covering the agricultural scene when not one small farmer had been heard. A young man from Wales who asked if he could survive if he bought a small farm now was firmly advised to get off the grass, while the single reference to 'small is beautiful' came from a speaker who farms 3,800 acres, is chairman of a farmers' cooperative, a director of an oil seed company and of two frozen food processing companies. Sir Michael Culme-Seymour certainly talked of stewardship and the duty of the farmer to hand over an estate in a better condition than he found it. His statement "You do not own the land, the land owns you" might well be written on the brow of every farmer, Sir Michael also recognised that a farm divided into small tenant holdings does better than a large enterprise, but regarded 800 acres as the sort of farm-unit which an individual could adequately handle. Cold comfort for all those seeking anything from 10 acres up (or even less) had they been present. Professor Britton from Wye College opined that if the average farmer in Britain has three or four times as much land as his continental counterpart, this is a situation we should do everything possible to preserve. A speaker from the floor who questioned the ethics of feeding quantities of cereals to livestock received no support, while others felt confident that intensive animal production would continue, using all available land for production of red meat, and producing white meat from intensive units. This seems to suggest a painful ignorance of the world food situation. At a discussion on economic use of fertilizers, the chairman tentatively enquired whether anyone thought a return to,'muck and mystery' techniques desirable. One farmer muttered that he had never left them, but so sotto voce that only his immediate neighbours
UC10 R6/1: page 100

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 101

heard, and the thought was strangled as soon as born. The standard of the Papers,was high. and gave evidence not only of considerable time in which to prepare them,' but of sufficiently wide reading to pro-vide a plethora of apt quotations - all very pleasant to listen to. The accent, however, was too much on exploitation of land and capital and on profitability to be very heartening for an ecologist. True, John Cyster, farming 700 acres in partnership, preached self-sufficiency. He was going to be more careful about the kind of fertilizers he used, and suggested a drawing in of horns regarding the 'excessively intensive agricultural methods of the last decade'. He was using no bought-in feeding stuffs except minerals, and was growing his own seeds in defiance of a warning from the British Seeds Council. He dropped a somewhat alarming hint about first-class firms who do the farmer's accounting work provided he uses the right kind of fertilizer, which seems to indicate that domination of agriculture by big business will die hard. The effects of the Capital Transfer Tax proposed in the present Finance Bill were generally agreed to be of sinister portent to farmers, and something which the NFU and CLA could fight on a joint front, to prevent a 'slow grinding down until nationalisation of land becomes inevitable'. A suggestion that next year's conference might include consideration of Community Land Trusts, now being experimented with in America, and which could provide an alternative to nationalisation, was received with no enthusiasm. Much was made of the figure of only 1.8% of the population being involved in farming, with consequent lack of adequate representation in Parliament. Perhaps farmers should remember that 100% of the population is involved in consumption, and would be far more likely to back up the farmers if it could be assured of food produced without poisons and with humane methods of animal husbandry. These aspects of' farming were not touched upon. Joanne Bower ONE DAY CONFERENCE TO BE HELD ON FRIDAY, 4th APRIL, 1975 AT EWELL COUNTY TECHNICAL COLLEGE Topics to be covered: Historical appraisal of land tenure in Britain; natural law and land tenure; urban development and social discontent; movement for return to the land; work of groups dedicated towards proper use and distribution of land. Societies with an interest in land from all points of view are invited to advertise their work at the conference. Further details and booking forms from: Mr. T. Reddick, Department Liberal Studies, Ewell Technical College, Reigate Road, Ewell, Surrey; Telephone: 01-3941731.
UC10 R6/1: page 101

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 102

Good Sward Guide Tony Farmer pages 35 37
Sward Gardening is an ingenious technique which could enable gardeners to maintain the fertility of their soils without the need for external inputs of fertilizer, either organic or inorganic. The sward gardener attempts to mimic the natural process by which grassy pastures (or swards) establish and maintain their fertility. In the sward gardening techniques developed by Tony Farmer over the past few years, vegetables are grown in rows alongside rows of white clover. The action of the grazing animals is imitated by mowing the clover at regular intervals. Results, so far, have been impressive. Tony explained the principles behind his system in Undercurrents 8 (and Resurgence Vol. 5, No. 4). In this article, with the growing season fast approaching, he gives detailed advice on how readers can try the sward gardening system for themselves. SINCE THIS article may be read by a number of people who are faced with their first gardening experience and who intend to produce a significant part of their food by gardening, I would like to begin by explaining a few basic practices which are so 'obvious' they generally get left out of gardening manuals. For example, digging. Whether you wish to prepare the garden for sward or intend to be a continuous digger, you are bound to have at least one large bout of soil moving. Digging soil, especially neglected sailor pasture, is heavy work. If you are not used to it, start gently. Do only an hour a day at first. Keep your enthusiasm balanced with your strength. It is very important in the garden to maintain a positive frame of mind as plants acquire an unusual sensitivity to the mental pattern of their human mentor. And don't forget that there is as much plant life in the soil as on it in the "form of the essential fungi. (Organic soil that is). Divide the digging into parts and con­centrate on one part at a time for short spells for example, breaking the soil, turning it and chopping the lumps. Loosen the surface with a spade or mattock, if necessary, in a line until your arms are complaining. Then return to the beginning and turn a spadeful at a time all along, then return again and chop the lumps if
UC10 R6/1: page 102

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 103

there are any. This way, more of a rhythm can be maintained whilst dis­ tributing the effects of the exercise around the body, Weeds; Even in sward gardening, a certain amount of soil has to be kept clear in the immediate vicinity of the vegetables. This is best maintained by growing the vegetables in tracks six to eight inches wide. Stemmy perennials such as nettles, wild mint and burdock will soon disappear if clipped or mowed regularly, every two weeks or so. While the occasional dock or dandelion in the sward is beneficial (it taps deep sources of minerals) stem my perennials should be removed with tap root intact from the growing tracks. Buttercups' also will' . succumb to regular mowing in a clover sward but they are such greedy and rapid colonisers of cleared ground a determined effort should be made to confine them to the wiId patch. A good tool' for the _ removal of unwanted growth without too much mess is the small, twoprong d hand weeder rather like a rightangled jointcarving fork. Fertilizer: Nothing discourages the beginner so much as poor results. I strongly advise the use of a good organic fertilizer either in powder or spray form for the first few years in a new garden. The fertilizer should be well balanced ­for example, hoof, bone and blood in ­powdered dry form, or a seaweed con­centrate diluted with water and applied with a watering. can. About two feeds per year will be all that is necessary and will stimulate soil flora and fauna to digest the first heavy doses of compost needed to raise the soil potential. The cost is negligible: a gallon of concentrated sea­weed spray may cost a fiver and will last several years used on !4 acre of garden. Liquid feeds produce such excellent results when combined with composting and swards that the gardener may wish to make his own. This can be done very simply by washing good compost and rich turves in a bucket with fresh water. Or more elaborately by growing a special crop specifically for the job for example, comfrey, nettles, borage, angelica. These can be suspended in a bag in a tub of water for a week or two and decompose very rapidly to give a rich supply of nutrients. Establishing a sward garden There are two basic approaches to beginning a . sward garden. I f there is a stiff stand of deep rooted perennials in the
UC10 R6/1: page 103

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 104

soil the best course would probably be to clean the soil thoroughly with a fork and compost the roots. If the soil is covered with a thick carpet of buttercups or grass it could be prefer­able to dig the entire area with the spit and trench method. Spit and trench: First cut a strip of the topsoil about three feet long and eight inches wide into turves eight inches square. Lift these turves and lay them aside, without breaking if possible. Dig out the subsoil to a depth of a foot at least and place this aside also but separate from the turves of topsoil. You now have a trench three feet long, a foot deep and, eight inches wide. Step back and cut another eight inch strip of topsoil and turn the turves, as intact as possible, into the bottom of the trench so that they lie upside down. Dig the subsoil over on top of them. Step back and proceed as before. (Fig 4) When you reach the end of the plot place the first spit cut in the trench and the first subsoil dug on top. If the soil is fine you might find it more manageable to take two spits at the beginning with their subsoil and place them aside. If this is done carefully it will ensure a good start to the clover sward as there will be less weed and grass seeds in the raised subsoil to compete with the clover as it is establishing. Raking and sowing: The digging or cleaning should be completed immediate­ly before the sowing. For best results, , speedy germination of the sward mixture is required, and as clover needs more heat to grow than most grasses and weeds, the sowing should not take place too early in the year. The best time is late March to early April in the South, and a month later in the North. The raking and sowing should be done as soon,as possible after the digging so that any weed seeds brought to the surface do not have a chance to gain a start on the clover. Rake off any large stones from the sur­face of the riot and break up any clods remaining. Seed mixture: Along with the clover, I have been using some herb seeds which are commonly sold for pasture leys. A typical mixture would be: 70% clover, 10% yarrow, 10% chicory, 10% ribgrass. These are thoroughly mixed and sown with a seed sower (purchased from Chase organic seed merchants for a few pence). Also a quantity of burnet is sown by hand, as the seeds are too large to go with
UC10 R6/1: page 104

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 105

the other parts of the mixture. All of these herbs, like the clovers, are deep rooted arid therefore droughtresistant and capable oftapping the subsoil for minerals. The type of clover required will depend / on what is suited to your particular soil. On acidic poorer soils such strains as Alsike and Danish wild white are recommended, whilst on better soils Kent wild white or one of the New Zealand strains may do better. Ask your nearest farmer or the seedsman. Laying the swards: After the final raking, mark off the positions of the vegetablegrowing tracks at 24 inch intervals and lay a couple of planks, or 36 _, 'some strips of paper about eight indies wide over the first two track positions. ,Commence sowing seed with an even steady movement not too thickly, about % ounce of seed to the square yard. When this has been adequately covered begin treading with the feet at the edge of the bed and proceed carefully over the extent of the seeded ground. Sow a few more feet then continue treading. The treading should be done with flat heeled shoes or bare feet, in order to have an even surface to the sward which allows closer mowing or clipping. The treading should not be done when the soil is too moist, as the surface and seeds will stick to the feet. When the space between the first two positions is finished move one of the planks over to the next position and begin on the next space, taking care that no seeds resting on the plank fall onto the vegetable tracks. No further raking or covering of the seeds is necessary. At this point it is advantageous to give the bed a feed of a good liquid fertilizer (followed by a similar feed a few weeks later) if the soil is poor. Do not sprinkle it too heavily as the seeds may be washed away. Composting techniques: After treading the vegetable tracks should remain about two inches or so above the sward strips. They can be prepared for vegetable sowing immediately, provided conditions are dry, but as soon as the clover has begun to germinate all traffic on it should cease for several weeks until the sward has established itself. The growing tracks may be mulched, in the manner of Shewell Cooper, or dug and
UC10 R6/1: page 105

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 106

composted as in traditional gardening, though if they are dug, care must be taken not to sub­merge the nearby swards and cause lumps in the turf which are difficult to mow. Plants requiring large spacing In the case of brassica, globe artichoke, asparagus and similar vegetables, the com­post can be liquified with enough water to make a thick soupy consistency and poured down holes made with a crowbar. When all the holes are filled the soil can be incorporated with the compost by further barring or moving with a spade. In the case ofvegetables which are being transplanted into a track, the compost can be concentrated around the growing station, particularly in the case of per­ennials. If a seed bed is required in a growing track it would be preferable to disperse the compost throughout the entire length of the track, then prepare a small seedbed down the middle. This is done by opening a small trench about two inches deep and filling it with a carefully sifted mixture of fine soil and compost or peat. A double row of such vegetables as carrots, parsnips, leeks, onions, shallots etc. , can be grown in the clear tracks. The two rows should be staggered with about six to eight inches between plants on the same row. Large barred holes are made at the proper distances and they may be as deep as enthusiasm allows. The fillings should be carefully riddled in the case of carrots and parsnips, and thoroughly mixed, otherwise the roots will "fork" (separate into two or more parts). A typical mixture for carrots would be: 50% rich compost; 40% good black soil; and 10% fine sand. The mixture should be poured down the holes and tamped firm with' a stick then the seeds sown on top in the centre of each hole. About half a dozen seeds to a station. If dry compost is unattainable an effective alternative is to chop and mix the ingredients in a wheelbarrow with enough water to make a consistency somewhat less watery than . the one used for the brassica stations. The mixture should again be tamped down with a blunt ended stick. The holes should only be filled to within two inches of the top with the wet mixture then topped up with a fine, dry, soil and sand,. seed bed mixture, otherwise the seeds may become locked in the compost as it hardens and fail to germinate. The barring and filling of a hole for every plant in this way may seem
UC10 R6/1: page 106

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 107

tedious and longwinded but the yields more than compensate roots weighing one pound apiece are common. The same method is recommended for onion sets and leeks, the transplanted leek going into the hole after it is halffilled with compost, with a little waterdiluted fertilizer poured down afterwards. Weeding of the vegetable tracks: Any weed, grass or clover in the vegetable tracks should be lifted, complete with roots 'and dropped down the barred holes before filling with compost. Weeding of the track may be necessary one to two months after the vegetable seeds are sown but thereafter the growing plants, pro­vided they are not checked, should inhibit further week growth by the shade cast by their leaves. Take care with transplants, handling them gently and do not let them dry out during the change over. Watering them with a weak solution of liquid fertilizer is very advantageous. I n the case of plants remaining in the seed beds, a liquid feed given after the seedling has established itself will bring it on smoothly and one further feed before fruiting or heading should be sufficient to produce good crops reliably. Maintaining the sward It is not advisable to use liquid fertilizer with long root crops, and unnecessary if the above method is followed. A newly­established sward may be cut. when it reaches a height of about three or four inches. This cut should not be too close to the soil but leave one to one and a half inches. Any clumps of grass or chickweed which appear at this time should be removed. Subsequent cuts can be made closer and closer. When the clover is well established the mower or shears can be used as low as possible. Whilst seedlings are in the beds the swards should be treated as a normal lawn and kept fairly short with the clippings left lying where they fall as food for the worms. Once the plants have grown a sufficiently hard stem to be immune to slug damage the clippings may be raked onto the vegetable tracks where they will' help to concentrate worm activity, pro­vide a moisture retentive cover to the ground, and aid in keeping the strip free of weeds and grass. During mild winters it may be necessary to clip the weeds off above the level of the clover, say once during the winter. Weeds should recede in the following summer under the effects of mowing.
UC10 R6/1: page 107

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 108

I n the growing season, cut the swards about once a fortnight until the develop­ing vegetables make further cuts impossible. Mowing is an extremely rapid method of controlling growth and a properly laid out sward garden measur­ing one tenth of an acre can be mown thoroughly in under two hours, whilst the small amount of initial weeding of the seedlings requires, altogether, around six hours for the first two months of growth and virtually nothing thereafter. The con­ siderable subsidiary benefits gained from the sward fertility, moisture retention and visual beauty have also to be taken into account. Tools: A very cheap pair of lawn shears can outlast and outperform several sets of' more expensive blades. Basically because the blades, of softer steel, are easier to sharpen, (I use a large file not a stone) , and so there is less strain on the bolt and handles. Avoid shears with narrow blades: they are too flexible and will fail to cut stemmy swards. It is essential to keep the shears sharp and oiled, and see that the cutting edges meet all along the blade. If necessary substitute a bolt with more thread and. use a lock nut. For larger areas of sward a mower reduces maintenance enormously. I am using a 'Husqvarna' type with a cutting width of ten inches. This is a very light, efficient little machine of the barrel type without a roller, measuring 15% inches between the outsides of the sidewheels. It fits neatly down the sward tracks. A smaller mower would be still more efficient as space becomes cramped when the vegetables begin to mature and crowd the swards. It is beneficial for the sward if mowing can continue into the Autumn, as clover is more competitive the greater the number of cuts. I am at present trying to get together the prototype of a hand mower made from bicycle parts and designed speci­fically for sward gardening . . If any readers familiar with light engineering can lend a hand, I should be interested to meet them. Establishing a sward garden on pasture land t appears to be quite feasible to begin a sward garden ona piece of pasture land with a minimum of digging, retaining the pasture sward for the sward strips. The Undercurrents 10 vegetable tracks are established in . a variety of ways depending on the con­dition of the pasture land. Here
UC10 R6/1: page 108

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 109

are a few possibilities: Cut a strip of turves from . the position where the vegetables are to grow, and lay them aside. Bar or spade the subsoil that has been exposed and incorporate compost as you go. Return the turves to their original positions but upside down. Give the strip a good liquid feed and sow vegetable seeds or trans­plants on the 'upturned turves. Dig spit and trench method, as explained above, but only along. g the actual growing track position. Compost as, you go. This will need a good liquid feed as you will have brought some very dormant subsoil to the surface. Begin to bar large holes as for carrots and scrape off the surface green around each hole and drop it to the bottom of the hole before topping up with compost. You will end up with a cleared strip, well composted for a root crop. If the pasture already supports clover then nothing need be. added. The mowing will increase the percentage of clover. If no clover is present, and does not appear in the first year even with feeding, the sward strips might be chopped Iightly with the point of the spade to loosen the surface, then some clover and herbs scattered over them. This should be trod­den down as before and more feeding done. It will be found that the swards can be permitted to grow quite long, particularly in dry weather. They will then act as moisture collectors and keep the wind and sun from drying the soil surface. But in continuous wet conditions close cropping may be essential, particularly around seedlings, in order to deter the slug population from moving around too much. , I n gardening of any type it is always preferable to do a little work, often ­rather than doing all of it at once. With the sward garden, maintenance is minimal but should be done regularly to keep things under control. n Primavera april's buds explode into bloom shaking last year's leaves out of their gloom like stars they beam through the darkest room
UC10 R6/1: page 109

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 110

Michael Horovitz

UC10 R6/1: page 110

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 111

Anarchist Cities Colin Ward pages 38 39
Anarchism ­the political philosophy',of a nongovernmental society of autonomous communities " does not at first sight seem to address itself to the problems of the city at all. But there is in fact a stream of anarchist contributions to urban thought that stretches from Kropotkin to Murray Bookchin historically, and from John Turner to the International Situationists ideologically. A lot of the people who might help us evolve an anarchist philosophy of the city would never think of trying because in spirit, though less often in practice, they have abandoned the city. GOVERNMENTS are invariably based in cities: whoever heard of a nation ruled from a village? Very often they actually build cities to house themselves: New Delhi, Canberra, Ottawa, Washington, Chandigar and Brasilia are examples. And isn't it significant that the visitor who wants to sample the real life of a place has to escape from the city of the bureau­ crats and technocrats in order to do so? He has to go ten miles from Brasilia for example, to the Cidade Libre (Free Town) where the building workers live. They built the "City for the Year 2000" but are too poor to live there,' an,d in their own homemade city, "a spontaneous wild west shantytown life has arisen, which contrasts with the formality of the city itself, and which has become too valuable to be destroyed. " The myth of rural bliss Particularly in Britain, the most highly urbanised country in the world, we have for centuries nurtured a myth of ruraL bliss a myth cherished by people all across the political spectrum. Raymond Williams in his book 'The Country and the City' has shown. how all through history this myth has been fed into literature, always placing the lost paradise of rural bliss in some past period. And , E. P. Thompson comments that what is wrong with the myth is that it has been "softened, prettified, protracted, and then taken over by the city dwellers as a major point from which to criticise 'industrialism. Thus it became a substitute for the utopian courage of imagining what a true community, in an industrial city, might be indeed of imagining how far community may have already been attained. " Like Williams, he sees this as a debilitating situation: "a continuous cultural hemorrhage, a loss of rebellious blood, draining away now to
UC10 R6/1: page 111

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 112

Walden, now to Afghanistan, now to Cornwall, now to Mexico, the emigrants from cities solving nothing in their own countries, but kidding themselves that they have some how opted out of contamination by a social system of which they are them­selves the cultural artifacts. " All those merry peasants and "shepherdesses of the pastoral dream are now, they point out, "the poor of Nigeria, Bolivia, Pakistan. " And the paradox is that the rural poor of the Third World are flocking to the cities in vast numbers. If you want examples of anarchist cities in the real world today, in the sense of largescale human settlements resulting from popular direct' action and not from governmental action; it is to the Third World you would have to turn, In Latin America, Asia and Africa, the enormous movement of population into the big cities during the last two decades has resulted in the growth of huge peripheral squatter settlements around the existing cities, . inhabited by the 'invisible' people who have no official urban existence. Pat Crooke points out that cities grow and develop on two levels; the official, theoretical level, and that the majority of the population of many Latin American cities are unofficial citizens with a popular economy outside the insti­tutional financial structure of the city. " One way of reducing the pressure on these exploding cities, would be to improve Iife in ,n villages and small towns. But that would demand revolutionary changes in land tenure, and on starting smallscale labourintensive industries, and in dramatically raising farm incomes. Until that happens, 'people will always prefer to take a chance in the city rather than starve in the country. The big difference' from the explosion of urbanism in 19th century Britain is that then industrialisation preceded urbanisation, while today the reverse is true. The official view of the shantytowns of the Third ,World is that they are breeding­grounds for every kind of crime, vice, disease, social and family disorganisation. But John Turner; the anarchist architect who has done more than most people to change the way we perceive such settle­ments, remarks: "Ten years of work in Peruvian barriadas indicates that such a view is grossly inaccurate: although it serves some vested political and bureau­cratic interests, it bears little relation to reality . . . Instead of
UC10 R6/1: page 112

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 113

chaos and dis­organisation, the evidence instead points to highly organised invasions of public , land in the face of violent police opposi­tion, internal political organisation with yearly local elections, thousands of people living together in an orderly fashion with no police protection or public services. The original straw houses . constructed during the invasions are con­verted asrapidly as possible in)to brick and cement structures with an investment totalling millions of dollars in labour and materials. Employment rates, wages, literacy, and educational levels are all higher than in central city slums (from which most barriada residents have escaped) and higher than the national average. Crime, juvenile delinquency, prostitution and gambling are rare, except for petty thievery, the incidence of which is seemingly smaller than in other parts of the city. " What an extraordinary tribute to the capacity for mutual aid of poor people defying authority. The reader who is familiar with Kropotkin's 'Mutual Aid' is bound to be reminded of his chapter in praise of the mediaeval city, where he observes that "\;Wherever men had found, or expected to find, some protection behind their town walls, they instituted their cojurations; their fraternities their friendships, united in one common idea, and boldly marching towards a new life of mutual support and liberty. And they succeeded so well that in. three or four hundred years they had changed the very face of Europe. " Kropotkin is not a romantic adulator of the free cities of the middle ages, he knows what went wrong with them; and of their failure to avoid an exploitive relationship with the peasantry. But modern scholarship supports his interpretation of their evolution. Walter Ullmann for example remarks that they "represent a rather clear demonstration of entities governing themselves" and that "In order to transact business, the community assembled in its entirety . . . the assembly was not 'representative' of the whole, but was the whole. " . The social City: a network of communities This implies a certain size and scale of communities, and Kropotkin again, in his astonishingly uptodate 'Fields Factories and Workshop's',
UC10 R6/1: page 113

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 114

argues on technical grounds for dispersal, for the integration of agriculture and industry, for (as Lewis • Mumford puts it) "a more decentralised urban development in small units, responsive to direct human' contact, and, enjoying both urban and rural advantages. " Kropotkin's contemporary Ebenezer Howard, in 'Garden Cities of Tomorrow' asked himself the simple question: how can we get rid of the grim­ness of the big city and the lack of opportunities in the country (which drives peopleto the city)? How on the other hand can we keep the beauty of the country and the opportunities of the city city? His answer was not only the garden city, but what he called the social city, the network of communities. The same message comes from Paul and Percy Goodman in 'Communitas: means of livelihood and ways of life' where the second of their three paradigms, the New Commune is what. Professor Thomas Reiner calls "a polynucleated city mirror­ing its anarchosyndicalist premises". And the same message comes again in Leopold Kohr's dazzling essay 'The City as Con­vivial Centre' where he finds the good metropolis to be "a polynuclear federa­tion of cities" just as his city is a federa­tion of squares. And like Kropotkin too, the 'Blueprint for Survival' sees the goal as "a decentral­ised society of small communities where industries are small enough to be responsive to each community's needs". And long before the energy crisis hit people's consciousness, Murray Bookchin in his essay Towards a Liberatory Tech­nology (which I published in 'Anarchy' in 1967 and is now in his book 'Post­Scarcity Anarchism;) argued the energy case for the polynuclear city: "To main­tain a large city requires immense quantities of coal and petroleum. By con­trast, solar energy (from the sun), wind power and tidal energy reach us mainly in small packets. Except for great dams and turbines, the new devices seldom provide more than a few thousand kilowatthours of electricity. It is hard to believe that we will ever be able to design solar collectors that can furnish us with the immense blocks of electric power produced by a giant steam plant; it is equally difficult to conceive of a battery of wind turbines that will provide us with enough electricity to illuminate Manhattan Island. If homes and factories are heavily con­centrated, devices for using clean sources of energy will' probably remain mere
UC10 R6/1: page 114

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 115

play­things; but if urban communities are reduced in size and widely spread over the land, there is no reason why these devices cannot be combined to provide us with all the amenities of an industrial civilisation. To use solar, wind and tidal power effectively, the giant city must be dispersed. A new type of community, carefully tailored to the nature and resources of a region, must replace the sprawling urban belts of today. " The acceptance of diversity and disorder A quite different line of anarchist urban thought is presented in Richard Sennett's 'The Uses Of Disorder: personal identity and city life'. Several threads of thought are woven together in this book. The first is a notion the author derives from the psychologist Erik Erikson, that in adolescence men seek a purified identity to escape from pain and uncertainty, and that true adulthood is found in the acceptance of diversity and disorder. The second is that modern American society freezes men in the adolescent posture a gross simplification of urban life in which, when rich enough, people escape from the complexity of the city to private family circles of security in the suburbs the purified community. The third is that city planning as it has been conceived in the past, with techniques like zoning and the elimination of 'non­conforming users', has abetted this pro­cess, especially by projecting trends into the future as a basis for present energy and expenditure. "Professional planners of highways, of redevelopment housing, of innercity renewal projects have treated challenges from displaced communities or community groups as a threat to the value of their plans rather than as a natural part of the effort at social reconstruction. " What this really means, says Sennett, is that planners have wanted to take the plan, the projection in advance, "as more 'true' than the historical turns, the unforeseen movements in the real time of human lives. " His prescription for overcoming the crisis of American cities is a reversal of these trends, for "outgrowing a purified identity. " He wants cities where people are forced to confront each other:' "There would be no policing, nor any other form of central control, of schooling, zoning, renewal, or city activities that could be performed through common
UC10 R6/1: page 115

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 116

community action, or, even more importantly through direct, nonviolent conflict in the city itself. " Nonviolent? Yes, because Sennett claims that the present modern affluent city is one in which aggression and conflict are denied outlets other than violence, precisely' because of the lack of personal confrontation. (Cries for law and order are greatest when communities are most isolated from other people in the city. ) The clearest example, he suggests, > of the way this violence occurs "is found in the pressures on police in modern cities. Police are expected to be bureau­crats of hostility resolution" but "a society that visualises the lawful response to disorder as an impersonal, passive coercion only invites terrifying outbreaks of police rioting. " Whereas the anarchist city that he envisages, "pushing men to say what they think about each other in order to forge some mutual pattern of compatibility", is not a com­promise between order and violence, but a wholly different way of living in which people wouldn't have to choose between the two. And are cities going to change? They have to because they are collaps­ing, replies Murray Bookchin in a book recently published in America, 'The Limits of the City. ' The cities of the modern world are breaking down, he declares, under sheer excess of size and growth. "They are disintegrating admin­istratively, institutionally, and logistically; they are increasingly unable to provide the minimal services for human habita­tion, personal safety, and the means for transporting goods and people . . . " Even where cities have some semblance of formal democracy, "almost every civic problem is resolved not by action that goes to its social roots, but by legislation that further restricts the rights of the citizen , as an autonomous being and enhances the power of superindividual agencies. " Nor can the professionals help: "Rarely could city planningtranscend the destructive social conditions to which it was a response. To the degree that it . , turned in upon itself as a specialised pro­fession the activity of architects, engineers and sociologists it too fell within the narrow division of labour of the very society it was meant to control. Not surprisingly, some of the most humanistic notions of urbanism come from amateur who retain contact with the authentic experiences of people and the mundane agonies of metropolitan
UC10 R6/1: page 116

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 117

He's right. Ebenezer Howard was a shorthand writer and Patrick Geddes was a botanist. But the particular bunch of amateurs who, for Murray Bookchin, point the way are the young members of the counterculture: "Much has been written about the retreat of dropout youth to rural communes. Far less known is the extent to which ecologically­minded countercultural youth began to. subject city planning to a devastating review, often advancing alternative pro­posals to dehumanising urban 'revitalisa­tion' and 'rehabilitation' projects . . . " For the countercultural planners "the point of departure was not 'the pleasing object' or the 'efficiency! with which it eXpedited traffic, communications and economic activities. Rather, these new planners concerned themselves primarily with the relationship of design to the fostering of personal intimacy, many­sided social relationships, nonhierarchical modes of organisation, communistic living arrangements, and material inde­pendence from the market economy. Design, here, took its point of departure not from abstract concepts of space or a functional endeavour to improve the status quo but from an explicit critique of the status quo and a conception of the free human relationships that were to replace it. The design elements of a plan followed from radically new social alter­natives. The attempt was made to replace hierarchical space by liberated space. " They were, in fact, rediscovering the polis, reinventing the commune. Now Murray Bookchin knows that the counter­cultural movement in the US has subsided from its high point of the 1960s, and he inveighs against the crude political rhetoric which was the next fashion. "Far more than the flowers of the mid sixties, the angry clenched fists of the late sixties were irrelevant in trying to reach an increasingly alarmed and uncomprehending public. " But he insists that certain demands and issues raised are imperish­able. The call for "new, decentralised communities based on an ecological outlook that unites the most advanced features of urban and rural life" is not going to die out again because of the harsh fact that "few choices are left today for the existing society. "

UC10 R6/1: page 117

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 118

General systems Peter Sommer pages 40 43
Most of us are to some degree suckers for the Big Theory, the New Guru, the Opened Door of Perception that will Change All either through Wisdom or Immutable Scientific Law. The General Systems Approach (GSA) has been around in one form or another, since the Thirties and has scored considerable success both as a theoretical discipline and as a technology particularly under one of its disguises, as Management Science/Operational Research. I n the past five years it has extended its influence considerably. Its concerns are being adapted to whole countries (Stafford Beer tried it briefly in Chile and is now apparently doing the same for India) and the whole world (the Club of Rome /MIT 'Limits to Growth forecast). Academics and armchair polemicists are turning to it as an indirect justification of elites (or so one gathers from Mensa) or as a quasiutopian model for change. (Donald Schon in the 1970 Reith Lectures). It also throws up some . entertaining views on political science. I think we'll be hearing a great deal more about GSA. Because it is often presented as holding out more promise (and threat) than is in fact the case, here is a guide to its concerns and its terminology: THE FIRST mistake people make about general systems theory is that they think it attempts to have (or actually does have) an explanation of everything. General systems theory is about systems which for this purpose is anything that is reasonably complicated. A singlecelled creature is a system, so is a community, a farm, a large commercial enterprise, a nation state. And so, of course, is the Earth. Systems can be biological, eco­logical, economic, political, and social. . The one common factor is their com­plexity; they are comprised of a number of separate parts and processes, which interact with each other. At anyone time these components are in a state of stable tension, though this may vary with time. General Systems Theory claims that systems as such, irrespective of their com­ponents, show certain common pro­
UC10 R6/1: page 118

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 119

perties, and that by extracting the basic laws that describe these properties, we can have a better understanding of the world. . The second mistake implied in General Systems Theory is that it presents a whole theory. It doesn't only a series of separate models or ways of looking at systems:This is why I have preferred to refer to the area as the systems approach. . Most of traditional twentieth century science has attempted to make sense of the world by pulling it apart and examin­ing the constituent parts this approach is called 'mechanist' or 'reductionist' and was a reaction against the mystic ideas of 'vitalism' and 'life force'. But if you pull a clock apart you are left with just a set, of cogs and springs a clock can only be really 'under stood' by seeing it as a "work­ ing whole. I n practice, of course, it is wrong to oppose the 'reductionist' and 'holistic' approaches we need both. Our ways of 'understanding' what we see depend on the creation of a number of models which we use at various times to give us a rounded view and we need to have the imagination to map several models on to each other. The first model I will deal with is con­cerned with a system in which the com­ponents do not change much over a period of time and which receives no stimulus from outside and has no effect on outside either this is the theoretical 'closed' system. In most simple explana­tions we like to say that A causes B ­inflation is caused by wage demands, for example. In practice, an end result may be the product of a number of mutually­interacting forces, and the 'simple' explanation is therefore wrong. Imagine a tugofwar in which there are three, instead of two teams. The three strands of rope meet in one knot and once the game has commenced the knot hovers, more or less steadily, as atribute to the respective strengths of the teams. This is a stable system. If one of the men in one of the teams suddenly has to leave the game, then the pull given by his team will diminish and the position of the knot will change, moving partly towards one of the other teams; and partly towards the third. This change is known as per­turbation and the period it takes for a new stability to emerge is called the relaxation time. Now suppose a
UC10 R6/1: page 119

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 120

man in another of the teams develops rope burn blister. Again the system is perturbed and then relaxes. If we observe the knot and the teams over a period of time we can assess the area of space over which the . knot will hover and hence the number of states of possible stability. This number is known as the system's variety, which is a measure of its complexity. Now imagine (and I'm afraid the art of metaphor gets strained here) a whole series of threeteam tugsofwar going on in a moreorIess circular formation and with each knot linked to a gigantic­central knot: In fig. l the individual games going on are ABC, DEF, GHI, KJL, and MNO, the respective knots of which are U, W, X, V, and Y. The centre knot, affected by all the games, is Z. At the time the diagram was drawn, the system is stable ­although all the teams, A through 0, are working hard at tugging. Now, if team L, say, is suddenly weakened, this will affect directly the position of knot V. This in' turn will affect slightly the position of knot Z (the centre one) and all the other knots and teams will change position slightly. If we allow a more serious change to take place in one of the teams, depending on the relative strengths of the other teams in the various games and the lengths of the rope involved; one of the other individual games may actually cease to exist because its knot has moved out­side the control of the three teams keep­ing it in place. In order to keep the big system going, one of the component parts has had to collapse and be sacrificed. This, in the jargon, is a catastrophe. Also; in the jargon, each knot can be regarded as an esoteric box. for certain purposes, one does not need to know all about the properties of each of the teams A through O. If we simply want to know roughly what knot Z is likely to do, we can treat each of the games ABC, DEF, GHI, KJL, and MNO as esoteric (or 'black') boxes, the insides of which we need not examine because their general external properties Le. the 'pulls' exerted by their respective central knots give us enough information on which to predict the behaviour of knot Z. While the teams go off to the changing rooms and you start clipping this out to send to Pseud's Corner, let's map this notion to something more important ­contemporary British society. The model demonstrates why the apparently stable institutions of a society can break down with no
UC10 R6/1: page 120

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 121

apparent reason. Stock exchanges collapse, not because of a sinister marxist plot, but because they are one of the knots in the capitalist system: Britain is in a period of perturbation partly because its component parts (industry, unions, government) are themselves in a state of perturbation and that perturbation is due largely to living on an eroded economic base (i . . e. we have been used to cheap raw materials which we have processed and then sold dear, and not only can we not do that any longer, we haven't realised it yet). So certain industries, welfare services, and so on, may have to be 'sacrificed'. We can also map the systems model on to the global ecology, using resources and needs as the various 'games'. The second model I want to talk about is also 'closed' but is not stable with respect to time it grows. One of the most familiar global debates has been about exponential growth which among other things is the rate at which an organism perpetuates and replicates itself in perfect conditions. I n a closed system, where most of the ingredients are con­stant and cannot be replaced, if one ingredient grows exponentially it can only do so up to the point at which the imbalance is such that the system breaks down. This is the 'general' theory behind the 'spaceship earth' l;:concept; our mineral resources decline with use, our vegetable and animal food resources scarcely replace themselves each year, but popula­tion expands and our expectations of the consumer lifestyle increase. So we get starvation and pollution, and instead of an everincreasing exponential growth curve, the system that is spaceship,earth follows an 'Sshaped' path in which the growing ingredient either 'plateaus' out or declines another form of catastrophe. Now for our third model, which is still 'closed'. We can map the first idea of interacting esoteric boxes on to the second model, so that each knot may be subject to growths and plateaux in a series of complex ( but not incomprehensible) perturbations and relaxations with respect to time. This combined model gives a much more accurate picture of why inflation happens, or why sections of industry collapse, and takes us away from looking I for the one simple
UC10 R6/1: page 121

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 122

'cause'. So far; we have assumed that all the components of our system are roughly equal in status, if not in strength. But many systems are in fact hierarchic and have chains of command (fig. 2). Obviously one thinks most readily of the business concern and a good deal of the real work done in GSA (under its titles ofManagement Science and Opera­tional Research) is concerned with this situation. Biological organisms, however, are hierarchic as well, the brain helping to regulate the function of the specialised organs which provide and use energy. In the simplistic account of hierarchies (say in the Army or a big corporation) the talk is of 'orders' and 'chains of command'. 'Delegation', a word beloved of oldtime managers who like to think themselves liberal and modern, implies that the boss could, if he had time and wasn't so fantastically talented, do the worker's job. In fact, he couldn't, because whatever their respective innate natural abilities, the worker is doing his job all the time and hence the greatest expert in it. The boss's skill really lies in selecting and manipulating workers. For this reason, Operational Research (OR) sometimes tries to talk in terms of 'flows of information', the 'information' flowing backandforth in a series of loops which modify the behaviour at both the top and bottom of the hierarchy. Inform­ation which goes back to the top is of course known as feedback, one of the best known terms in the cybernetic vocabulary. Simple hierarchies, of course, rarely exist and some OR people attempt to draw complicated charts showing actual _ flows of information: These charts can then be used as a means of regulating flows of information. You can, however, have a hierarchy in which certain middle elements are connected together, inside an esoteric box the Civil Service is in theory a hierarchy, except that individual Ministries, and even groups within _ a Ministry, may in fact be allied. It is in this way that bureaucracies get 'bureau­cratic': and a hierarchy may collapse because of such internal tensions as well as the result of instability created by out­side pressures. This brings us to the distinction between 'closed' and 'open' systems.

UC10 R6/1: page 122

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 123

Most systems are closed in respect to some of their functions and 'open' in regard to others. It all depends on what way you have of looking at the model ­are you trying to see its internal working, or its effect on other elements outside? It is, however, misleading to think of hierarchies as being simply about flows of information and to feel that the other 'immutable natural laws are suspended. The economic 'laws' that capital tends to regulate what happens in a society, whether overtly profitmotivated or not, don't suddenly disappear, they merely get tempered. As we will see, later, some of the more utopian visions of GSA practitioners tend to ignore considera­tions of economics and sovereignty. At this point you may feel that your sense of free will and selfdetermination is threatened, if not annihilated. Most people interested in 'Alternative Techno­logy' put a high premium on being against 'the system'. And GSA, with its claims to perceiving everything as a system, seems to leave no room for choice or self­expression. However, if we go back to our very earliest model, it was shown that the 'knot' was capable of occupying a number of different positions called its variety. GSA says that any given 'knot' or • esoteric box (which can of course be a human being) exhibits a series of ( possible. e states, and the number of these states is its variety. In binary computer logic, each 'bit' has only two states 'on' or 'off'. Human beings may exhibit a large number of possible states, alternative courses of action and behaviour, pre­ferences for which can be expressed on a scale. The cybernetic principle governing variety is: Only variety can absorb. variety and is known as Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety. In other words; if an individual wishes to have almost total free will (irresponsible anarchy! do I hear someone say?) then if he . is to exist in any societal group, that group and its environment must have an almost total ability to absorb or satisfy not only his actual needs, but also all his possible needs. In a reallife situation, a society couldn't exist if its members, unrestricted, wanted almost total choice. The choices would conflict both with the
UC10 R6/1: page 123

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 124

other indi­viduals in the group and with the group itself. Hence the need for a variety reducer ('you can have any car you like as long as it's black' for instance) which, in terms of a society, tends to mean laws and a way of enforcing them. But although this argument could be used to 'justify' a police state, in practice this need not be necessary. Very few of us, when it comes to it, wish to exercise all our possible 'choices' simultaneously. In practice too, whilst in theory everyone in a community could all suddenly demand the same item, in fact they don't; and by observation it is possible to ascribe a probability to people's wants and so give the system a chance of satis­fying it. A corner vegetable shop could suddenly find that all of its regular . customers want carrots and nothing but carrots, but the greengrocer's experience is that not all his customers come in on 42 j. the same day and that they also wish to buy quantities of potatoes, swedes, pars nips, and so on. . . Thus the Law of Requisite Variety, though always there, need not be parti­cularly tough in its application, especially if the situation in which itis operating is a stable one. The more unstable a situa­tion within a system, the harsher are likely to be the effects of Ashby's Law. The French mathematician Rene Thom has a formal mathematical theory, known as catastrophe theory which seeks to show the links between the elements of restricted variety, and the perturbations and relaxations in a system, and which can show when a catastrophe is likely to occur. (But to demonstrate it involves cartesian coordinates on at least three dimensions and an examination of the folds (instead of straightline graphs) created. ) Even if the explanations are difficult, however, the ideas are easy to recognise. We can pause now and look at some poli­tical implications. In a reasonably stable "­society, without any important shortages, without complicated hierarchies and where each individual is modest in his wants (exhibits a low variety), there will only be a small need for 'rule enforcement'. In a situation of economic shortages, hierarchies that are felt to be 'unjust', and with a growing population, the various esoteric boxes forming the institutions of a society will be under
UC10 R6/1: page 124

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 125

great strain, each attempting to assert its internal stability at the expense of the rest. Individuals will feel threatened, and the society will feel the need to restrict the 'variety' of the individuals normally by policing. It is on this basis that the currently­popular GSA term 'the extremism of the centre' makes sense. If we look at the British scene today we can see the 'social contract' and 'parliamentary democracy' as holding the centre of a complicated set of tensions between various elements in the country workers, consumers, manufacturers, capitalists, pension fund operators, trade unions, government, and so on. Outside that 'closed system' is another one embracing such factors as the area of resources available (which in turn reflects our eroded economic base and dwindling world supplies) and the expectations of the individuals in the community for an improvement in their life styles. In order to protect 'parliamentary democracy' and the 'social contract', it would be reasonable to expect govern­ment to try to ensure their stability ­otherwise, the whole system will undergo a perturbation before finding a new point of stability (which would probably be after some people got hurt). This model seems to give a much more real picture of what is actually happening than the eternal slanging matches involv­ing the workers versus the capitalists or the deflationers versus the inflationers, which are the currency of most political debate. . However, if the social contract should collapse (which seems quite likely) the process of perturbation would be painful and the sets of variety available to the participants in the system would be reduced, probably painfully. In GSA terms, therefore, government's task would be to make the perturbation as easy as possible that is if you think it a good idea that some variant of the present system should continue and if you think it likely that people will be 'reasonable' enough to accept a modifica­tion of their 'choices'. Now the utopians among the practi­tioners of GSA have a number of recipes to sort this type of situation out. One is simply to aid the change
UC10 R6/1: page 125

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 126

by identifying the problems in 'systems' terms and suggesting modifications which is what management consultants traditionally do. However there is the problem of imple­mentation, none too easy in a 'demo­cracy'. Hence the argument in favour of a benevolent eliteof systems engineers ­this idea is what Hudson Europe recently proposed (see Undercurrents 9) and is also upheld by some members of Mensa on the basis that brain power will conquer all. . A second approach is to see the com­puter as saviour. The computer can be regarded as a variety amplifier not so much in the sense that it actually makes more choice available, but in that it identifies and matches people's wants with what is available from the system, and does it with great rapidity. If you really want the computerto work, however, then you have to feed your systems model into it. Up to a point, this can be done. You don't even need complicated maths, because you can make the computer look at all the possible variable stable states simply by step­bystep arithmetic. Even though the com­ puter does this quickly, this method takes up a lot of memory space and so an elegant series of programs is needed. But the state of such computer tech­niques is advanced only in theory the MIT/Club of Rome computer model of the world problematique The Limits to Growth is just one study that has been criticised because it was too simple. The theory of computer modelling also enables a program to be modified in the light of experience (this is known as a learning program, but i is practically and theoretically difficult to say how far a computer model can modify itself. The danger is not that the rampant computer will take charge, but that it will not adequately reflect what is going on in a system and so become itself another limiting factor within the system. Donald Schon's Reith Lectures in 1970 were concerned with the problems of technological change he suggested learning programs in computers as a way in which society could change according to its needs. Stafford Beer seems to be suggesting (ifone can disentangle the technicalities from the purple prose) that if one attempted to monitor the eudemony of a system (by which he means a version of happiness which
UC10 R6/1: page 126

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 127

can be measured) the system could modify itself accordingly. But it is one thing to say that we should try and create computer programs (and a means of feeding data into them) and quite another 'to act as though it was already possible to do so. I n terms of what can be actually achieved today, the , computer finds it much easier to act as a variety reducer by limiting the ranges of options open to us acting as agent of policing, or watching our creditworthiness. There is/also an important. theoretical constraint on the extent to which a com­puter can cope with revolutionary change. Godel's theorem which says (in a more precise way, than I am actually using here) that a system can never understand itself is one 'reason' why humans can never really understand themselves and also why computers, however large, are still limited, after a while, by the capabilities of the original programmer. Overriding these considerations is a major criticism that must be made of masterful computers who controls them, and who has access? Protagonists of the computer systems model (foremost among them Stafford Beer) claim the computers are ridiculously cheap in comparison to the results they give but this still doesn't answer who has initial control? Beer, whose ideas in this area can be seen in Platform for Change and Designing Freedom has many claims on . one's attention, chief among them his work in Allende's Chile where the . economy was hooked up to a computer ­though not with testable results because of the destabilising effects of the CI A. (Maybe' he will have better luck in India. ) Beer is both impressive and annoying, his style a mixture of arrogance and desperation linked with laziness in putting his books together (they are all reprints of talks, though Platform for Change has a gimmicky presentation, with different coloured sheets and 'poetic' text
UC10 R6/1: page 127

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 128

setting, which don't work. ) But Beer is also energetic and imaginative. He knows very little about realpolitik and has some curious ideas about how human happiness (which is what counts) might be measured. He also undoubtedly behaves as though computer modelling was more . advanced than it actually is. But some of what he says should be listened to . . . . What emerges from this survey of GSA. I think, is that it does not actually solve anything it merely presents a way of looking at the world which is extremely helpful. Of course you can use it to 'justify' police states, or low impact tech­nology (of a certain sort), or elites (of a certain sort), and anything else you like, , just as, years ago, the new theories of evolution were used 'to 'justify' laisser faire capitalism (the survival of the fittest) and the supremacy of man as a rational ethical animal (because we had the ability to think). J am suspicious of all theories that try to explain everything. GSA shows, in the language of maths, that we are all part of one another. The system will always be there in some form or another, but it is up to us, within limits, to make it what we like. Peter Sommer Acknowledgments General Systems Theory Ludwig von Bertalannfy Man and the Computer John Deibold The Human Use of Human Beings Norbert Weiner Lecture course by F H George at Brunel University (not published) , Platform for Change Stafford Beer Designing Freedom Stafford Beer Beyond the Stable State Donald Schon and helpful talks with CH Waddington and Michael Thompson.

UC10 R6/1: page 128

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 129

Centre for Living page 43
JOHN SEYMOUR, author of Self Sufficiency and The Fat of the Land, intends to establish a Centre of Living at and around his farm in Pembrokeshire. The object will be to provide a place where people who wish to master the skills needed for self sufficiency in the countryside can come and do so. Such people will be able to stay for as long as it takes them to master the necessary 'techniques (a year seems reasonable for most people) and when they leave, if they desire, the Centre will try to help them establish themselves as peasant craftsmen,' or peasant food producers, or peasant­professionals, or whatever they want to be. Thereafter it will be hoped that contact will be kept with as many as want it so that they shall still feel affiliated to the Centre, that help will be given to them if possible when necessary, and that they will continue to help and support the Centre, and in particular help other free people to establish themselves in the countryside. The main aim will be to train people to be able to take a piece of their country and make it produce more food than it did before with less input than it had before, and also to earn a good and honest living at some craft or profession. If a person cannot make his or her land produce more than it did before then they shouldn't have it! It is/to be hoped that some alumni will stay near and in close touch with the Centre, perhaps even helping it to expand and themselves becoming part of it, others will drift further away and perhaps some of them even set up Centres of their own. There is no reason why such an infiltrating movement should ever stop! Instruction in the various skills (which will have to be completely professional ­not the blind leading the blind!) will be provided partly by the 'staff' partly by experts paid to come in from outside. More buildings will be required (which involves buying at least another farm) and more stock and equipment although we have a pretty good collection already. It is therefore necessary to find a small number of people who are willing to come in as working partners and invest capital in the Centre. They will be assured of a good life and their capital will be secure but moneymaking is not the object. Learners may be expected to pay a fee at first if they can afford it. If not
UC10 R6/1: page 129

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 130

they will have to pay with very hard work! But the aim will be to produce all the food, power and fuel required, as far as possible use free material and our own labour for buildings, and also produce enough high quality produce or artifacts to sell to pay the expenses of the Centre. It is the aim that all the produce of the land of the Centre shall be brought to its final and most perfect form before being used or sold. For example wool will not be sold as wool but as clothes or blankets. Milk will not be sold as milk but as high quality cheese, butter, buttermilk, yoghourt etc. and the skim and whey will not just be fed to pigs for market but the pigs will be turned into the best quality ham, bacon, and smoked sausage. There will be enough labour available to bring everything to its peak of excellence. Any trees harvested will not be sold as sticks of timber but as high class furniture, turned goods, etc. Some apples may be sold as apples but more will be sold as cider. Research will be carried out on every aspect of self sufficiency, not only in husbandry and food production and pro­cessing but in power, heat production (wood, wind, water, manure] crafts and manufacturing. The findings of the research will be disseminated as widely as possible in publications like this one and also possibly through a Centre News Letter (which of,course will be printed on the Centre press on Centre produced paper!) At present thousands of people are dropping out of the cities and finding their bits of land and trying to 'have a go'. Hardly any succeed because they don't know how. The aim of the Centre will be to show them how and to do it well. If technological society is to break up, let us start preparing people for something better now. Anyone interested write to: John Seymour, Fachongle Isaf, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Wales, with a stamped addressed envelope.

UC10 R6/1: page 130

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 131

The future of alternative technology Dave Elliott & Colin Stoneman
MANY ALTERNATIVE Technology 'enthusiasts have a predilection for pragmatism which cohabits uneasily with their utopian tendencies. Faced with the complexity of national not to mention international power politics, they prefer to work at a relatively practical , level, sustained either by longterm ideals or simply by success at the parochial level. As Robin Clarke has argued: "Having lost faith in any system of rescuing mankind as a whole they operate in a world of selfhelp". One common scenario for the future is as follows. Plagued by environmental crisis, and by energy and resource scarcities, the 'advanced' world wakes up to the fact that it must decentralise to survive: it must find new technologies which are ecologically appropriate and new forms of socioeconomic organisations that are less wasteful of energy and material. The Alternative Technology people, having worked in isolation in garrets, basements, and remote communes will suddenly be welcomed back into the mainstream technological fold. The adoption of Alternative Technology would imply a transition to decentral forms of organ­isation. Thus Alternative Technology carries within it the seeds of a new society. Behind this scenario lies a revision of Marx's belief that the capitalist form of' organisation creates the necessary techno­logical base for socialism. Much of the technology produced under Capitalism is 'flawed', argue the AT enthusiasts; some might be rescued, but most would have to be abandoned. The technological base for thefuture must be 'fundamentally rethought, all existing technologies must be reviewed, and Alternative Technology may lead the way to new 'appropriate' technologies. There is an element of technological determinism in this scenario. It is assumed that the introduction of Alter­native Technology would automatically change the socioeconomic structure. The attributes associated with Alternative Technology such as nonalienation and ease of control by the worker are supposed to be inseparable from it; they are part of the Alternative
UC10 R6/1: page 131

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 132

Technology package_ In one sense this is true, but in another it is false. A society creates the type of technology suited to its mode of production and its social forms whether of hierarchy or equality. Technologies like the national grid, the mass media, super\f00 sonic transports and intercontinental ballistic missiles, are more likely to arise from societies in which a few people are in a position to control, (and to threaten to deny) the means of heating, information, communication. even existence itself, for others. Such forms of technology depend on centralisation, and centralisation increases the power of those at the top. On the other hand, societies with grass\f00 roots democracy are more likely to successfully develop refuse digesters, local entertainment (perhaps including community television), communal transport, democratic communication techniques, and so on. But it is important to realise that although both 'Flawed Technology' and 'Alternative Technology' come as packages, both can be broken up_ Ideas and inventions are often perverted to serve opposite ends from those originally envisaged: witness the fate of the pacifist suggestion that the army should be issued with rubber bullets instead of lead ones. Peter Harper has emphasised in past issues of Undercurrents that the links between social and technological components of a package are not indissoluble. Alternative Technology, like any other technology. provides only a means to social ends: but there is no fixed link between means and ends the link can only be made politically_ It is possible to imagine a highly reactionary Alternative Technologybased world, with feudal ownership and control and intensive slave labour, which is nevertheless 'ecologically' viable. (Some might even say such a world would be socially desirable if it avoided economic collapse: better a slave than dead . . _ . . and better still a feudal lord than a slave. ) The separation of means and ends, techniques from goals, is profoundly dangerous. It is understandable that Alternative Technology people despair of political involvement. and want to get on with the job of developing hardware_ But unless they consider how this will be implemented on a mass scale they are coming dangerously near to elitism. Some of them would retaliate saying that the social 'software' associated
UC10 R6/1: page 132

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 133

with Alternative Technology communal organisation can be exported and implemented when the crunch comes; that the 'Alternative Technology Commune' is a social experiment, a demonstration which can help convince people of the feasibility of alternative ways of life. Retreatist communes may indeed play such a role; but their exercise in demonstrating the future can only be meaningful if they have a strategy in mind for social change. Otherwise they can easily misdirect their communications and be used for reactionary purposes by those with other than 'social' or environ\f00 mental concerns. There are already signs that some of the work of the ecological movement is being used to provide scaretactic propaganda on behalf of the corporate state. Ecological rhetoric can be used to disguise capitalist ideology and some parts of the ecological movement are only too willing to oblige. As Cotgrove' has written of the Club of Rome: . . . . . theirs is, in fact, a strategy for increasing control and order over the economic and resource problems with which the corporations are faced", while Ridgeway] goes further and suggests that behind the revolutionary rhetoric of parts of the movement "are arguments for policies which would lead to a more effectively managed central state, a benign form of capitalism". Certainly alternative technology could be easily absorbed into capitalism. There are already signs of growing interests fuelled by the energy crisis in Alter\f00 native Technology by industrialists. In the USA, Grumman Aerospace is building both large and smallscale windmills; NASA has a $1. 25 million windmill project, and the National Science Foundation has funded a $60 million project on solar radiation energy conversionl Arthur D. Little (Consultants) estimate that there will be a $1. 3 billion annual market for solar power systems by 1985. In the UK, British Oxygen's New Venture Group and Lucas Aerospace have both studied this market. The patrons of the National Centre for the Development of Alter\f00 native Technology in Wales include Sebastian de Ferranti, Lord Robens, Lord Annan, and the Duke of Edinburgh. A number of small firms are already advertising alternative energy systems to the general public. And of course, there are countless projects underway in universities and government institutions (for example, the Energy Technology Support at Harwell).
UC10 R6/1: page 133

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 134

So corporate Alternative Technology may soon arrive . . . . . This brings us to our second scenario \b the politically realistic one. 4 Plagued by resource and energy crises, the corporations and the state absorb many of the Alternative Technology techniques but not the associated ideology. They will purvey Alternative Technology survival kits for profit to those who can afford them: the middle class will buy itself (temporarily) out of the ecocrisis, by building defendable, safe environments. Alternative Technology production is carried on in much the same way as conventional production \b in energy intensive and socially exploiting largescale industry. (Of course, energy\f00 intense and polluting massindustrial production is to say the least suboptimal environmentally,"so eventually there might have to be a move to decentralised smallscale operations and alternative production technology. )' The central speculative question is: would the corporate state then be dissolved, or would capitalism seek to retain its control and its profits? The answer must depend on the collective political actions taken by those who otherwise would be pawns in the game. The growing power of trade unionists, for instance, is increasingly making itself felt in directions which transcend the old issues of wages and conditions. Workers are demanding a say in the way their factories are run, a say in investment decisions. Consequently they are demanding that the books be opened. We are growing ever nearer to the day when they will be demanding a say also in what pro\f00 ducts are made and what technology is used in the industrial process. On the other hand, it would be too deterministic to maintain that their decisions would in the early stages necessarily be more ecologically sensible than those of the capitalists_ For at present, in many cases, the heat of the immediate battle is too intense. We must understand that highlyskilled people fighting for their jobs cannot be expected to appreciate arguments that bicycles are nicer than Aston Martins or Concordes. But such attitudes, arising from defensive situations, cannot provide reliable justification for writing off workers as agents in an offensive situation. As workers' control develops we must help the process already evident in the ICI workers' 'Positive Employment Programme' whereby organisational demands lead to financial demands and finally to
UC10 R6/1: page 134

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 135

technological demands. The foreseeable endresult of this process is workers' selfmanagement, in which a social audit of the community's needs and of its available resources would be able to replace the Market mechanism, notorious for its neglect of environmental and social factors. Only if technological change goes hand in hand with change in the balance of power can we hope for a viable future. Since ends and means must, as we have argued, be constantly linked, it is important to discuss what means are appropriate for such ends. Let us concentrate first on the political aspects. A common model for decentral social structure is to base all economic and productive life on a small community of 510 thousand or so, who participate directly in setting production goals, allocating resources and in general decision making through facetoface democratic meetings. The distinctions between consumer and producer, work and leisure, would be dissolved by extensive task rotation so that 'workers selfmanagement' and 'community control', would overlap. The semi\f00 autonomous units would be coordinated regionally and nationally by some form of representational body, with delegates subject to recall and dismissal. The basic aim would be to ensure control by and accountability to the citizen. This scheme has many similarities with Guild Socialist and Syndicalist ideas, the main difference being in the type of technology used. Syndicalism grew up during the early days of the industrial revolution and was firmly rooted in the craft tradition. Some people argue that presentday technological capabilities make the syndicalist dream realisable \f00 particularly if we make use of electronic means to aid communication and participation in decisionmaking. Market structures, which are only one way to coordinate trade and resource allocation between autonomous units, could be replaced by continuous and rapid communication of information concerning needs and capacities. (See Stephen Bodington's book Computers and Socialism . Computers could be used in an interactive mode as an aid to participative decisionmaking and similar tasks). The use of what amounts to advanced technology to aid the functioning of decentralised society will, of course, be
UC10 R6/1: page 135

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 136

an anathema to many alternative technologists they would prefer to employ low technology exclusively. But in some situations it is sensible at least to consider the use of high technology, where appropriate, and with sufficient safe\f00 guards. It may, of course, turn out that complex cybernetic integration is in\f00 appropriate since there are grave dangers of technocratic manipulation of information by the inevitable 'experts' associated with advanced technology. But we should be wary of throwing all existing technologies away without first assessing their relation to our social and environ\f00 mental ends. Take production technology for example. This topic has largely been ignored by the Alternative Technology enthusiasts, who, as Peter Harper has pointed out, seem to forget that Alternative Technology hardware (windmills, solar panels, heat pumps) must be produced somewhere and by someone, and usually require fairly complex and scarce materials,. tools and techniques in their construction. Moreover, it should not be assumed that workers in presently efficient hightechnology factories will all enthusiastically embrace Alternative Technology as they gain power indeed, in some cases they will be right not to. Now it may well be that most production can ultimately be established at the community level in small craftwork based community workshops. For it is 46 true that there are major diseconomies of scale in many fields probably in most. And in any case we might not place a high value on economic or technical 'efficiency'. Given the changed pattern of consumption associated with a decentralised communal life, there would not be a need for many of the artifacts that keep the present corporate industries churning, and certainly smallscale community workshops using relatively simple labour\f00 intensive craft techniques could provide many of the things we need. But it is worth considering other possibilities: in our eagerness to escape from the commodity consumption patterns of capital \f00 ism and the associated production techniques we tend to overreact against the 'economies of scale' argument and to deny the efficiency of massproduction in some situations. For example, there might be a role for some advanced technology say in mining, smelting and refining of basic materials; and in automation, for the highly efficient production of certain standard items (such as tubes, sheeting, nuts and bolts). Such advanced techniques would make full use
UC10 R6/1: page 136

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 137

of the economies of scale, at central, regional or national level. MoreOrLess totally automated (and perhaps selfmaintaining) plants, are, given the economic and I political will, technically feasible. And it might be possible, using numerical control techniques, for components to be marginally tailored or modified to suit the needs 'dialled in' from a particular community a sort of bespoke production. Certainly, such a plant could be controlled via computer so as to optimise resource usage (materials, energy and plant) and to distribute its time rationallY amongst the various orders sent in from the communities it served. _ The standard products would then be distributed to each community for labour intensive assembly into the final product thus creating a sort of massive extension of the doityourself kit concept. This 'mixed' system would make use of the advantages of capitalintensive modern technology and of labour intensive, communitycontrolled work, where appropriate. Thus, in some situations, automation could be seen as an 'appropriate technology'. Of course, there are many problems. Since 'capital\f00 intensive' tends to mean 'energyintensive' and since transport costs are likely to be high, perhaps smaller local factories, utilising alternative sources of energy would be appropriate in some circumstances. 7 For example, it might be possible to establish smallscale numerical control units feeding components directly to the community workshop. . , However,the point we are trying to make is that once we have defined our social and environmental ends, it then becomes possible to design appropriate means to reach them. We should then be able to avoid two opposite traps: allowing Alternative Technology to be perverted into a new technological super\f00 structure, serving an essentially unchanged economic base; or supporting the development of a new selfmanaged social base destined to suffocate under the weight of the old technological superstructure. References 1. Robin Clarke in his Review of David Dickson's Alternative Technology: New Scientist, May 16th 1974. 2 Stephen Cotgrove 'Ecology and Utopia' New Scientist, to be
UC10 R6/1: page 137

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 138

published. 3. J. Ridgeway, The Politics of Ecology \f00 E. P. Dulton and Co. , 1971. 4. There is, of course, a third possible scenario it may be that AT will turn out not to be socially, technically, economically, or even environmentally viable, even if used on a small scale in decentralised units. Of course this would not stop the corporations from marketing it for shortterm gain. But if it were obvious, as some people believe, that AT is just 'not on', then industry would be unlikely to take much interest in it. 5. Although they might not subscribe to the ecological determinism implied by the latter part of this scenario, some AT enthusiasts would be happy to accept the absorption of AT by industry, since, they argue, industry has the money and skills to develop and market AT systems and kits and once it has done so, it would find it had undermined itself, by enabling sections of the community to become selfsufficient. However, although it is possible that the centralised industrial system would consequently 'wither away', it seems equally likely that, (as in the case of the doityourself boom, or even the health food boom), the purveying organisations would continue to thrive at their customers expense. 6. S. Bodington, Computers and Socialism, Spokesman books, 1973. 7. M. Bookchin 'Towards a Liberatory Technology' in Post Scarcity Anarchism Ramparts Press 1971. EVENSONG The downpour hesitates; Frail ghosts are rising from the ground and raindrops halt their skate on leaves. Especially after evening rain the moments freeze among the green. The gardener moving mid the plants replaces tools for the night's rest, is touched by icc that locks the day, and lovers coupled in the shrubs are dressed by silence, then by dew, then frozen in the twilight's cloak all feel at one with leaf and wood. The hand that holds the stars and then will move the fragile arms of ivy through the stone of walls
UC10 R6/1: page 138

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 139

between this evening's song and next is forger of death's signature. Peter Fallon

UC10 R6/1: page 139

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 140

Books Pages 47 52
PAPER DOMES BLOW YOUR MIND TONY DURHAM PAPER HOUSES (Survival Scrapbook 4) by Roger Sheppard, Richard Threadgill and John Holmes. Unicorn Bookshop, Caerfyrddin. Cymru. Paperback. 133pp. £2. 50. WHEN PAPER HOUSES have been produced commercially it has usually been for one or two purposes: for kids to play in, or for people to live in when disaster has wiped out their former dwellings. Ordinary people do not live in paper houses. Play and disaster arc "at opposite ends of a spectrum; ordinary adult life, which goes on in brick and mortar houses, occupies the middle of the spectrum and has little contact with the extremes. For the alternative culture,however, the middle ground is narrow or non'existent. Playas a way of life is often practised by the same visionary people who are conscious of the advancing, global ecological disaster. If, as this Survival Scrapbook says, 'domes blow your mind', (and all the houses it describes are, broadly speaking, domes) then I think it is because domes make you more aware both of the possibilities of play and the possibility of disaster. Life on earth is precarious, but it should be fun. In fact, 'paper houses' sound rather more precarious than they really are. It's not Basildon Bond we're talking about, but triwall fibreboard. Its stiffness and insulating properties qualify it as a build\f10 ing material. But if you're going to build something strong with it, you have to build clever. The main source of inspiration here is of course Buckminster Fuller. Most of Fuller's designs were not done with paper, but they were lightweight and highly engineered; his aluminium Wichita house was actually built by an aircraft firm. And the geodesic dome concept, popularised by Fuller, is easily adapted to paper buildings. Paper comes in flat pieces, ,and geodesics will magic a sphere out at planes. Domebuilders need some grasp of geometry, and with luck this book will get you there if you're starting from OIevel maths. The section on spherical geometry and geodesic calculations should help a lot if you're planning
UC10 R6/1: page 140

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 141

a dome from scratch. The catalogue of polyhedra (flatfaceted solids) will be useful, too, though you might do better to go back, as the authors suggest, to the source: Cundy and Roliett's Mathematical Models'. A couple of mistakes here bugged me, Lines are missing from some of the 'nets' and if you took them literally you'd get holes. ,in your model polyhedra. The picture labelled 'edge truncated cube' is in fact a truncated octahedron, a serious mistake since both of these solids are referred to later on as the bases of house designs. Some people will get very con\f10 fused. Almost half the book is about geometry. But then it's on to constructional details, photo reports on various paper structures that have been built, and some thoughts on what paper houses do to your head apart from keep it dry. Most of the practical section seems to be based on what the authors themselves have done. It will provide you with a good choice of methods for cutting out your panels, bending the flaps at their edges, fixing them together, and then weatherproofing the surface. I don't have their experience, but instinct tells me that weatherproofing will be the trickiest bit, and the one most likely to submit to surprising, counterintuitive solutions. I like the idea of boiled linseed oil a good traditional waterproofer. The steamroller solutions arc to coat the dome either with fibreglass or with con\f10 crete, but we are suitably warned of the practical problems involved. Anyway, one would feel a fool saying: "this is my paper house; don't worry about the con\f10 crete, that's just for waterproofing. " The only weather problems which I feel this book may underestimate are strong wind and rising damp. Maybe a ring of bricks round the base of the dome would be heavy enough to hold the dome down in a gale. But without a dampproof course, bricks are very porous and I fear the cardboard in contact with them would get soggy. Doors (or hatches?) and windows are obviously practicable with the methods given here. We're even told how to fit a lock the book's one concession to bourgeois society. It's surprising I haven't mentioned Keith Critchlow so far. For it is his ideas on geometry and design which inspire this book still more than Fuller's. Critchlow's 'Order in Space' (Thames & Hudson), modestly described as
UC10 R6/1: page 141

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 142

a 'design source book' is in fact, when read seriously, a kind of yoga course for the parts of the mind which relate to threedimensional space. One subject it explores is the close\f10 packing polyhedra, the solids which can be used to fill the whole of space. In this respect most architects have been no more inventive than the manufacturers of cube sugar. In his paper domes Critchlow has explored some alternatives such as the truncated octahedron and the edge truncated cube. Both of these have a mixture of square and hexagonal faces. Their advantage over the familiar geo\f10 design shapes (with triangular faces and usually fivefold symmetry) is that these shapes nest together in all sorts of ways. Fuller's domes arc individualistic, but Critchlow's are sociable. They can bud and spread like living cells, both sideways and upwards. The directions of growth are not in general at right angles, so the resulting forms are gentle and visually interesting. All this is well set out, with many pictures. The illustrations are not very explicit about the geometric principles involved, so if you care you'll have to work it out yourself. Committed as it is to one particular style of building, this book can't be an encyclopedia of paper houses. The bibliography, though, is pretty wide ranging, with plenty of stuff from abroad. Surprisingly, they've missed one of the closest to home, Vinzenz Sedlak's folded paperboard shelters developed at the University of Surrey and described in 'Architectural Design', December 1973. One of the most significant titles in the bibliography must be: 'Paper Houses Open New Billion Dollar Housing Market to Doublewall Corrugated. ' Clearly some one is looking beyond the stage of garbage housing and scrap technology, to the point where vast amounts of paper are produced specially for housing. I think we ought to draw up a few ecological balance sheets before Kleenex City is allowed to paper over the sky. But meanwhile, unwrap your new fridge with care. Someone might want the card board.

UC10 R6/1: page 142

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 143

THE MILLENNIUM POSTPONED by Edward Hyams. Secker and Warburg. 1974. 27700. £4. THIS BOOK is a popular history of socialism 'from Sir Thomas More to Mao Tsetung'. It is written in polemical style with a clarity and wit that has been rare on the left since Orwell died. Today's' revolutionaries sadly fail torealise how much their submarxist jargon repels the unconverted. They would do well to read this book for its style alone. The book is in two halves, Theory and Practice. Unusually, the former is the shorter, only twofifths of the book. There are four chapters on premarxist socialism, three on Marx and his work and one long chapter on Anarchism, which shows distinct signs of compression. The Practice section deals with the Social Democrats with satisfying crispness ('Sweden: welfare, certainly; socialism, not bloody likely'), the Anarchists, the Syndicalists, Russia, China and the New Left. Edward Hyams' own position is ambivalent, and it is to his credit that he frankly admits this. On the one hand his heart is in the right place, up there with Peter Harper among the millenary rose­tinted clouds, and in his nexttoIast chapter he sets out with modest irony a sketch of a possible world organised along libertarian socialist lines: 'Let us, for a few minutes, assume that the impossible has happened, that the New Left all over the world has grown in strength and ruthlessness . . . ; that by strikes and sabotage and some measures of violence both corporate and state imperialism have been overthrown and the way cleared for the installation of a worldwide society realising the millenary vision of pure socialism. A brief indulgence in fantasy will do no harm. ' On the other hand, however, his feet and his head are firmly on the ground. His final chapter, 'The Millennium Has Been Cancelled' sets out clearly the eco­logical argument for thinking that we are spitting into the wind. Simply, that the socialist utopia depends on freedom and democracy, which need elbowroom, of which we have very little and shall have less or even none at all. It is simply a matter of numbers. Edward Hyams regards it as 'foolish optimism' to suppose we can check population growth below the maximum the earth can support, which he puts at more than 10 billion. This is a problem the Libertarian Left has not faced up to: how do you get people to restrict their families voluntarily,
UC10 R6/1: page 143

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 144

without legal or economic sanctions? Parents like having kids, and come up with endless rationalisations to prove that their own offspring aren't part of the population problem. But considering how close we are to a stable population already, it seems more like 'foolish pessimism' to regard population growth as inevitable. Many traditional 'cultures stabilised their numbers well below what their territory could support. We might have something to learn from their. use of social measures such as taboos on inter­course. There is already in some circles in this country a taboo on large families. Some otherwise affluent societies limit population by linking marriage to certain prestige goods whose supply is artificially limited, so that their price is bid up, much as if we were to say that only couples buying colour TVs could have children, production being limited to 300,000 a year. Clearly under the present setup this would be grossly unfair, but would it be so unacceptable in an egalitarian society? The point is that social control can be achieved in quite subtle ways as well as by the crude mechanisms of the market and the law. My own view is that 'the Revolution' still has a chance, albeit a slim one, and certainly not in our lifetimes. At the very best the world population will be stabilised at an uncomfortably crowded level (and this will take 30 years) as has happened in England. But once this has been achieved then the question of what the population should be is back on the agenda. Would it really be impossible to persuade (say) the English that a slow fall in their numbers would be for the good of all? Many, I think, would accept this already. What the longterm carrying capacity of England is, sans nuclear and fossil fuels, an open question: it might be very mu. ch lower than anyone now thinks, sayan eighth of today's numbers (6. 5m. , the population in 1750, before the Industrial Revolution) because of the large acreage that would have to be devoted to growing fuel to keep us warm. Without a catastrophe and uncoerced it is hard to imagine the population falling at more than 0. 5% p. a. initially. The death rate is about 1. 3% p. a. so the birth rate would have to be reduced by about a third from its present level. At that rate the population would halve in about 120 years, so that it would take at least 450 years to achieve stability, about 200 times the average planning horizon of our rulers. No wonder noone gives much thought to the problem except for a few cranks. Much better to hang on, Micawberlike, for fusion power o come
UC10 R6/1: page 144

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 145

up trumps and bail us out. In the meantime, the struggle con­tinues. We must be content to travel hopefully down the stony road to Utopia. But at least we are in good company. Not­withstanding my reservations about the last chapter I recommend this book as a guide to some of our fellow travellers, and a sympathetic account of those who have passed before us. on the way. VlDEOVISION AND NEW AGE SCIENCE RICHARD ELEN THE PRIME TIME SURVEY by TVTV. Box 630, San Francisco, Calif. 94101. From Twenty Four Frames. 12 Chepstow Mansions. London W2 4XA. 64pp. £2. 20 personal and community. £4. 40 business and institutional. UNPOPULAR SCIENCE by Arthur Rosenblum. Running Press. 38 S. 19th St• Philadelphia •. Pa_. 19103. 111 pp. " $3. 95_ (You might find it in somewhere like Compendium for under £2. > THE PRIME TIME SURVEY of new video developments, by the US group TVTV (Top Value Television, makes one wonder once again why all these media developments never seem to happen here: why is it the US that brings home all the goodies? The answer seems to be partly economic ; as TVTV rightly point out, European standard portapaks (portable video recordercamera units) cost almost twice as much as American models. I see no reason why this should be purely a result of differing electronic standards, as the same price differentials apply to the majority of Japanese manufactured audiovisual equipment, and there is little or no difference, technically speaking, between the US and UK models. Some­one somewhere must be making a packet. The result is that a portapak costs over £800 (plus V AT), sO placing new equip­ment out of the running as far as totally independent video producers are concerned. Some groups have been able to obtain grants, from such sources as local councils or even the Government, result­ing in community video projects, like those in Lewisham and Hammersmith, run by the local council, and groups like Interaction, who (amongst many other things) are doing muchneeded 'educational' work making
UC10 R6/1: page 145

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 146

community action groups aware of the facilities for publicity and organisation that audiovisual media can offer. The second reasonfor the non­proliferation of alternative video in the UK is that, when it comes to finished programmes, there is next to nowhere to put them. Unless, of course, they're establishmenttype 'Educational' or 'Business' programmes that can be marketed as VCR tapes, etc. When it comes to alternative news, or video art, both covered extensively by the survey, there is next to no way of getting it shown unless you stuff a VTR and a monitor in the back of the car and go and set up in your local shopping precinct. If the onein106 chance of a net­work broadcast comes your way, they'll probably cut half of it out and run credits over it (remember TVX on BBC2?). There's little enough cable TV as it is, let alone space for alternative projects. And, as the TVTV team point out with regard to museum/art gallery video, 'the ritual of going to a museum or gallery to watch television is somewhat antithetical to its nature as a household appliance. ' One answer is, of course, pirate TV stations. If the response to this idea is as great as that which greeted the recent 'Undercurrents' radio articles, then we may soon see independent television (as opposed to Independent Television, in the same class as the lndependent News­ paper i. e. highly dependent), broadcasting clandestinely. But this solution is hardly cheap: a bust would mean the end of you. Perhaps the real solution is PO licensed Public Access TV stations, although the Post Office would probably regard this as a challenge to their ironedged monopoly. So the situation continues. Returning to the survey, it gives a very good outline of the presently available­techniques; such as the timebase corrector which enables halfinch video tapes to be used directly for broadcasting; the new equipment providing a portable colour recording medium at low cost; and a run down on available hardware (most of which is available to European standard. It gives a good few production tips in the form of accounts of the major TVTV programmes to date. It is an altogether worthwhile publication, and will no ­doubt stimulate a great deal of interest in those people who are just beginning to get interested in alternative video, or, like me, have been waiting until the hardware became more easily available
UC10 R6/1: page 146

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 147

within a limited budget. High technology it may well be, but it is also a very significant and worthwhile medium in today's world, and maybe in tomorrow's too. When faced with the label 'Freak Science', I always used to wonder what it meant, along the lines of "Who are the Freaks? What is their Science?" Now, I am pleased to report, I know at least part of the answer. Art Rosenblum is one of the freaks, and his science is in his book. Art Rosenblum runs an outfit which goes under the name of the Aquarian Research Foundation, and he and it churn out a huge volume of news­ letters, whence the book is compiled. The ARF exists to find ways in which the New Age can be brought in peacefully instead of chaotically. (If only it were more likely. ) Drawing on these news­letters as he does gives the book a sort of 'diarylike' effect; we hear about his dogs having puppies, people visiting him, and so on, plus a good deal of introductions to many 'New Age' subjects, including Pyramid Power, recording spirit voices, ESP in plants, Astral Travel, and lots more. All good stuff on an introductory level; a read through will give you plenty to 'break the ice at parties' plus a good selection of books to read on your favourite psychic phenomenon. Could do with a better index, but it's good fun trying to find a specific subject, so why bother? SUBVERSIVE TEACHING JOHN M. RAFTERY FREEWAY TO LEARNING: EDUCATIONAL ALTERNATIVES IN ACTiON edited by David Head. Penguin Education Special. 1974, 50p. THE CURRENT manifold 'educational' crisis is superficial in that it is merely a symptom of the more deeprooted crisis of belief and meaning in urbanindustrialism. In educational institutions, 'progressives' espouse busyness as an apologia for unthinkingness and as an antidote to doubt, while working for more sophisticated facilities and audiovisual aids, a proliferation of options on the curriculum, replacement of the annual degradation ritual of examinations by the even more degrading surveillance of con­tinuous assessment. When quiet reflection, passive nonintervention, and ­philosophical pondering are required, with respect to human, social and existential problems, the cult of busyness instead produces blind intervention, inhumane and blundering
UC10 R6/1: page 147

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 148

'solutions' and a host of intractable secondary problems that necessitate further callous interventions. In the process, the institutional monopoly on respectable education is reinforced; and to cope with the crisis, the wellmeaning, but misguided educational physicians prescribe inoculation with more of the same: organisational research, planning, computer aids, the usual technocratic fumblings which attempt to impose rationality. More things (including persons) are processed more quickly, categorised more efficient­ly, castrated more hygienically, and con­ditioned more completely. David Head is a soidisant educational quisling, and if the posting of radical questions is tantamout to subversion, he would,. like Postman and Weingartner, see teaching as a subversive activity:'How do you set about producing the misfits that you and I are convinced society needs to bring it health?; How do you encourage the children you meet to equip them selves with power?; How do you set about making learning a discovery and a dialogue?; How might any future educa­tional system counteract the 'hidden foundations' of a schooled society?;' ­and somewhat incongruously 'How do you meet the requirements of the 1944 Act?' I felt after reading this anthology that the hidden foundations were insufficiently delineated, exposed, or countervailed, despite the pervasive realisation by the various authors that while 'education' is confined to dingy, joyless, authoritarian classrooms, then, no matter how 'progressive' the tutors, no matter how ultramodern the fittings, the result can only be rigid, straightjacketed and conformist tuition. The freeschoolers agree on praxis reflection and action on' the world in order to transform it as a worthy aim of education, and know that this can only be approximated by sincere personal relating in a decentralised humanlyscaled setting. Only these exchanges can demystify the social world, and restore the power of selfdetermina­tion, autonomous decision, and con­sequently, selfrespect, to people who have been organised, directed and bullied out of a sense of selfhood for too long. But once people are regimented in insti­tutions, even ostensibly beneficent institutions, the tentacles of control and roleplay, statusseeking and envy, quantification and mystification, extend to and submerge irrevocably every last vestige of 'free' education. The spirit of praxis is unwittingly channelled and diverted to the ends of the system, and
UC10 R6/1: page 148

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 149

the pseudodiversity renders the monolith still more monolithic. The evil of competitive and acquisitive sociallyapproved 'success' has its locus not in the hidden curriculum, which free­schooling effectively counteracts, but in the hidden foundations of a schooled society. We have all been processed on Procrustean education at beds. Fear of being unable to meet the system's require­ments forces people, over and over again, even at the pinnacle of success, to dream not of success, but failure. Socially­approved goals can best be attained by the negative motivation of failure, rather than by a positive urge towards personal growth. So, although orthodox schools extol individualism and creativity in the abstract, they create in practice circum­stances which put a premium on con­formity and uniformity. But even in free schools, irrespective of the radicalism of the teachers, creativity can only be encouraged within the limits set by such values as: an appreciation of money, a devotion to work, a respect for people in authority and the desire to emulate them. They want their pupils to be slightly different, but not too different. In his postscript, David Head asserts that: 'The survival of the freest of free schools is linked unavoidably with what we can only call 'administration', . questions of premises, regulations, moneyraising, relations with authorities. ' I would suggest that the former school­supporting preoccupations must render the latter relations servile, sycophantic, and exceedingly heteronomous. I t is only outside the network, conventional and unconventional, of schooling, that a con­templative and popular search for wisdom will supplant the blind production of illiterate specialists, and only then will a real opportunity exist for the reevalua­tion of technology, economics, progress, and the public institutions whose runaway hegemony lies at the seat of our urbanindustrial disease. And this new zeitgeist might eventually lead to the atrophy of other repressive and counter­productive institutions. The freeing of resources, mental and material, brought about by the removal of these expensive superparasites e. g. a huge medical service which thrives on disease; a legal bureau crazy which legislates for crime, would mean a less frantic life, so less diseased, ' less criminal life, for all.
UC10 R6/1: page 149

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 150

To the extent that free schools provide free access to things, places, processes, events and records, they are unquestion­ably good. But the 'freeway to learning' lies beyond the certification effect and the Education Act. NEIGHBOURHOOD REVIVAL STEPHEN HORNE NEIGHBORHOOD GOVERNMENT by Milton Kotler. BabbsMerrill Company Inc. , New York. $4. 95. KOTLER CLAIMS that the modern' American city is an empire. It spread from its original area; the present down­town business district, not, as one would suppose simply by covering the surround­ing fields with buildings, but by annexing adjacent towns which had their own governments. For example, Philadelphia covered two square miles from 1682 till 1854 when the State legislature allowed it to annex twentyeight neighbouring town­ships so increasing its area to 129 square miles, the size it remains today. The neighbourhoods are not vague groupings mitigating the vastness of the city but the townships annexed by the city. The object of annexation was to destroy the commercial independence of the neighbourhoods which, given that local governments in America seem to have fiscal and legislative powers far greater than their English counterparts ever had, t reacted downtown interests. The neighbourhood revival, Kotler says, has come about because the cities are falling apart, the party machines which kept political attention focussed on City Hall are disintegrating and modern multi national companies are not interested in buying local politicians in the manner of their robber baron predecessors. The book was written in 1968 and whether the revival continues now I do not know though I see from the press that two of the neighbourhoods mentioned in this book, Roxbury and South Boston, have recently shown a remarkable degree of neighbourhood spirit. Roxbury, Kotler tells us, had, perhaps still has, a group called the Roxbury United Front wishing to regain Roxbury's independence of Boston. The city government must now be kicking themselves for not having conceded it. Much of the book is taken up with a theoretical analysis of how, and why, to recapture neighbourhood
UC10 R6/1: page 150

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 151

control and how to organise neighbourhood govern­ment. He believes that local power is an Object in itself not a step towards national revolution nor, directly, towards social equality. It should be regained by constituting a neighbourhood corporation as a legal entity which can then gradually receive powers from the city as it establishes its claim to represent the neighbourhood. He suggests it should be governed by an assembly of all residents electing a council for the routine business. He also makes suggestions for the control of the local economy by the locals which he rightly regards as vital. Such schemes are all as yet but schemes. He describes an actual neighbourhood organisation, the East central Citizens Organisation in Columbus, Ohio, whose activities at the time of writing were mainly the administration of federallyfunded aid pro­grammes. Still that is a start; I can hardly imagine our own Department of Health and Social Security allowing its money to be doled out by a parish council though, since the one political matter which_ excites the people in my village is the way some villagers who could work, bum off the Social Security, such a transfer would probably save_the State millions. I must write and suggest it to Sir Keith Joseph. Kotler has the right ideas. The follow­ing words from his last chapter should be branded on the left buttock of all poli­ticians and officials" There is an obsession with devising new social programs as solutions to riots, racism and poverty yet all share a common failing: they are all programs legislated by the central government and controlled by out­side central power. In addition to the social inequities of millions in this nation, there is a worse poverty shared by the poor and the affluent. It is the impover­ishment of political life, which results from the growth of central administra­tion. ' Vet I cannot wholly recommend this book. It shows signs of its origins in an article in the Yale Law Journal in its waffly and overabstract approach. Reading it is rather like eating candy floss; it seems solid, you bite on it and it vanishes. Also he has a way of discussing patently crazy ideas such as neighbour­hood armed uprisings against City Hall at excessive length and in a straightfaced way only equalled by John Cleese in Monty Python's Flying Circus. Still he is on our side. n For the benefit of our American readers interested in all this there is an Institute for Neighbourhood Studies at /520 New Hampshire Ave. NW,
UC10 R6/1: page 151

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 152

Washington DC 20036, which they may find useful.

PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY NlCHOLAS POLE DEMOCRATIC THEORY ANO LOCAL GOVERNMENT by Dilys M. Hill, Unwin University Books. 1974 £2. 75. THERE IS an implied value judgment in the word 'participation' just as there is in the word 'apathy', yet 'participation' can be a euphemism for the undue influence of particular pressure groups just as 'apathy' can be a pessimistic term for the pursuit of happiness. It depends on your point of view. Politicians for example might agree with Anthony Crosland, that only a small minority of the population wish to participate directly in decision­making: "We do not necessarily want a busy, bustling society in which every­one is politically active, and fussing around in an interfering and responsible manner and herding us all into parti­cipating groups. " Similarly, the local government officer, a professional with a job to do, may regard participation as an awkward interference. "We should always remember", one has said, "that local government is not a selfsufficient creature. It is a service industry dependent on the goodwill, approval, acquiescence and support of the public, without which it would be crippled. " To some extent these views of parti­cipation, 'fussing around' and local government as 'a service industry' are quite understandable. If people arc 'apathetic' towards local government it is not necessarily because they have been gripped by the sinister tentacles of an everwidening sense of alienation, but because, as Dilys Hill points out, the individual in a complex industrial society has a multitude of "alternative calls on his loyalty These alternative ties cut across local administrative boundaries. They relate man to man and individual to society, in ways which bypass local government. " It is therefore not surpris­ing that planning decisions are now the main source of spontaneous participatory outbursts, as planning is the area in which local authorities most commonly take decisions which threaten large numbers of their citizens. The proposals of the Skeffington Committee report on participation in planning appointed in 1968, says Dr. Hill, "are little more than
UC10 R6/1: page 152

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 153

exhortatory" and "have unfortunately met with little response Skeffington was wrong to suggest that participation has its main part to play at the late stage of the planners' preferred proposals and not at the earlier, more crucial stage of identifying choices available. " This is the fundamental criticism of the 'public relations' approach to parti­cipation, in which glossy folders are distributed to the public, informing them, rather than asking them, about what the planners have planned. All planning must start with some method of identifying the 'needs' of the community. The public relations approach 'participation from above' is an extension of the view that public relations is simply a service industry; that planning officials arc responsible for identifying potential demand (often using sophisticated market research and 'attitude surveys'), for pro­viding the services and advertising them effectively. Dr. Hill describes the government Community Development experiment of 1969, based on local social services, voluntary groups and university research teams. In these projects, research high­lighted needs, there was feedback into local administration and policy, and an emphasis on citizen involvement. The projects stressed the need to get local people to feel concerned about their communities One town clerk saw the Community Development project as analogous to a management consultant firm helping to improve the local authority's social responses; the team, for its part, saw its role as improving social services and making social needs articulate• The complex functioning of participa­tion as a social process (as opposed to the glossy folder approach) is well illustrated by this example. To assess the needs of a community it is necessary to become intimately involved with that community (this is why voluntary organisations like playgroups and community newspapers are usually a more accurate guide to local needs than anything market research can provide), and that involvement may in turn encourage a higher level of participation within the community a individual learn that the authorities are accessible. This is partly why participation is so important. It is a builderup of complex­ity and 'interaction' in social systems, and these arc the qualities that make cities good places to live in.
UC10 R6/1: page 153

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 154

Although in her chapter on Demo­cratic Theory and LOCal SelfGovernment' Dr. Hill discusses the various philosophies of participatory democracy, she does not attempt to present a 'model' (thank good­ness) nor, (what would be more welcome), a rough theory of the role of. local participation in a modern industrial society. This is a pity, because the grand old theories of participatory democracy, which she deals with very well, arc clearly in need of revision. JS. Mill, for example, argued that local democracy provides the _ political education necessary for citizenship in a national democracy a dubious theory to apply to modern Britain, con­sidering that most people acquire most of their political education now as spectators of national politics rather than as participants in local politics. Dr. Hill provides an admirably readable and comprehensive account of how the theory and practice of democratic participation in local government have developed since the 19th century. But in matters of theory, at least, Dr. Hill seems unwilling to go beyond an account of what other people have though t, and even in matters of practice she maintains an almost infuriatingly scrupulous impartiality in her accounts of debates and controversies. In a textbook this is, I suppose, praiseworthy, and anyone interested in the question of democracy. participation and community will find this book very useful, comprehensive and clear. IRISH ENERGY MAUREEN BRENT THE GREAT IRISH OIL ANO GAS ROBBERY from Sinn Fein, 40 Plas Gardner. Dublin. Eire. 40p THIS 102PAGE BOOKLET was going to get a favourable mention in the last 'Undercurrents', but maybe it's worth more as it illustrates all that's best and worst in conventional leftwing thought about energy matters. Of course, Sinn Fein have got it right when they write about what's happening in Ireland right now. Esso, Marathon and the others are making off with Ireland's massive reserves of oil and gas. They are going to remove not only the gas and oil but also the profits, partly to Britain but mostly to the States, and all there's going to be for the Irish is a few transient job and a lot of junk and pollution after­wards And yes, of course the penetration of Irish business by American and British interests, by both Irishmen and foreigners, is painstakingly and clearly
UC10 R6/1: page 154

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 155

documented. And of course, the farce of exporting oil and gas and building American lightwater reactors, as at Carnsore Point, to make up the energy requirement, is lovingly documented. So full points for the standard Marxist analysis of. the status quo. But oh dear! Sinn Fein's alternative seems hardly better. What they'd replace the above with is a massive tripartite nationalised petroleum industry, based on the Electricity Supply Board (whose 'proud record', 'dedication and skill' and 'ingenuity' are lauded extensively) for energy, Nitrigin Eirann for fertilisers and a nationalised version of the foreign­owned plastics industry for polymers. But even Ireland's stocks of oil and gas are exhaustible, and if they are developed there's every chance they'll get covetous glances from Britain by the end of the century. And not even Ireland's air can stand indefinite amounts of pollution, and nor can her already acid soil. An economy which, for all the usual third world reasons, still has lots of farming, small industries and little dependence on hightechnology stuff like oil, plastics and fertilisers should count its blessings. By all means chuck the foreignowned industries out of Ireland, North and South, and accept gladly the increased prosperity for most Irishmen. But why not accompany that with a massive decentralisation, with peat for burning (Shetland's high standard of living isn't maintained by imported fuel) and com­post instead of Nitrigin Eirann's excrescence, and lowcost renewable energy instead of offshore petroleum? Maybe because, come the revolution, Sinn Fein want something to rule, not a load of independent rural communities that don't need Dublin? * Best send a PO rather than a cheque even your friendly bank manager might notice this one! A MESSAGE PETER ABBS POLITICAL WRITINGS OF WILLIAM MORRIS Edited by A. L. Morton. Lawrence & Wishart. Paperback £1. WILLIAM MORRIS was one of the great radicals of the nineteenth century. AL. Morton has made an excellent selection of Morris's political comment­aries. Most of them have been taken from his lectures and have the vitality and
UC10 R6/1: page 155

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 156

directness of good speech. Morris's message is essentially simple: 'Nothing should be made by man's labour which is not worth making; or which must be made by labour degrading to the makers. ' For Morris it was axiomatic that work should bring pleasure to the worker, not in the form of extraneous rewards but in the actual process itself. Part of our dignity depends on finding work which properly engages our mind and spirit and, for Morris, any society which failed to provide for all its members the oppor­tunity of such work stood self condemned:d. It was William Morris' belief that the human being was essentially ,In artist, a creator, a symboliser whose mind needed beautiful forms and patterns as much as his/her lungs needed air. The power and persuasion of his politics rests on his vision of the good society, the truly cultured society, not on any doctrinaire theory. For this reason his work speaks to our age even more directly than to his own, because we have witnessed the failure of all doctrinaire politics. In short, this is an important book, pleasantly produced, cheaply available and anticipates many of the ideas that are, once again, taking shape against the Commercial Society. SONGS OF A FREE SPIRIT DAMARIS PARKERRHODES THE MINSTREL CYCLE: the Sunflower Seed Collection. On Emptiness Green. Songs of the Troubadour. by Peter Singer, WIth linocuts by Laurie Josephs. Love minus zero/no limit. 13 Chester­ton Road. Cambridge. 1974. [1. 20 (set of three booklets. PETER SINGER's rather homemade Songs and Utterance show a real progress from the first with its often illegible handwriting on coloured paper, to the third very attractively got up booklet­Tao. The three have an endearing quality in our machine age, and finally one is comforted by their relaxed childlikeness, and agree that Peter has a right to call himself 'The Troubadour'. His 'I Want You ' on one of the back covers rings through all in a modern Walt Whitman style. I take to Peter, and so the first two books which are exclusively his, delight me, though I never know when he is borrowing other people's rhyme tunes to set his words,
UC10 R6/1: page 156

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 157

and when they are his own: Thus: God made the little spaceship flies up above our head he/made it in a fury to survive us when we're dead. and this: and my father was a farmer kind of scientific man. ah, but deep inside you know he had no feeling for the land. Sometimes he hits curious and lovely wisdom, and often falls into silly and sometimes maddening nonsense. However in 'Tao' he has collected from his friends, and these are people I at least would adore to be befriended by, and one comes across pieces for which alone the books are worth possessing, in order to keep. Peter's note to Zengo Miroku, the monk: 'Dear Zen go, You rang and I am full of gratitude for this tenderness. I could not speak; the words congested inside,' followed by Zengo's careful account of ZAZEN: The Divine Seat of the Buddhas. Then Frances's white hot account of her experience: 'There is so much of danger, there are so many directions other than that one that is true. When we open the doors of ourselves we go into a vast country, peopled by those we do not recognise but who fascinate and even desire us. A country crisscrossed by innumerable paths and the direction is faint as we travel, for so many have taken the side paths and the direction seems so. much to be questioned. Sometimes we cannot even be sure we are on the right path at all. But when the decision has been made, the doors are all open, air from all worlds mingles through us and pens us and reveals us to ourselves . . ' In 'Tao' too Peter begins to share his own skills, and gives useful instruction On Working with Leather, and on Whole Foods and Natural Eating. One hopes he will continue, improving with each volume. If any Resurgence reader has a notion he might publish a homemade type booklet, he would do well. to buy these to see how it can be done. Two
UC10 R6/1: page 157

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 158

out of three of the booklets have magnificent Iinocuts by Laurie Josephs: this artist deserves to be famous. He loves bodies in such a warm, twisty and kindly way, con eying not only sex joy, but that hard to define quality of purity. Some people buying these books may find it hard to resist cutting them up in order to stick up the pictures round their walls.

UC10 R6/1: page 158

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 159

See what you've been missing:
BACK ISSUES of Undercurrents numbers 1. 2. 3, 4 and 5 are now sold out. But we're hoping to reprint numbers 1,2. 3 & 4. along with early issues of Eddies (which used to be mailed out separately to subscribers only) in the form of a book. We can't do it for another few months. though. because all the capital we can get is needed just to keep current issues coming out. and we can't afford to tie UD money ill reprinting hack issues. which may take years to pay for themselves. We’ll be announcing when the book is ready. Undercurrents 6 . Heat Pumps how they work and what they can do. Organic Living Experiment part 1. Do We :\ccd An Alternative Electronics Industry? Two DIY Wind Generator designs from France. Peter Harper's New. Improved Alternative Technology Guide. Running Your Car On Gas complete DIY Instructions. Petrol Stinks how petrol pollutes. how gas is cleaner. Water Running Wild a guide to homebuilt water Dower plant. What's Left of Alternative Technology part 2 of Peter Harper's evolving Movement strategy. Alternative ways of looking at Cancer Research is stress the cause? An AgitKrop Communique manifesto from the militant naturalists. Science Fiction Review. The Dark Side of the Mind Stan Gooch's Total Man reviewed by Colin Wilson. Plus Reviews: The Secret Life of Plants; Shelter; Phenomenon: Survival Scrapbook on Energy: How It Works. And Eddies: The Diggers & the People Party; Irish Sea Gas Strikes; Dinorwic is Flooded for the CEGB: BRAD Community Progress Report: Radial House proposal; Cuban Science. Undercurrents 7. Special Issue on Communications. The Snoopers and the Peepers how phone calls are tapped, who does it, and how it can he detected: how letters are intercepted by the P015t Office. and countermeasures. Confessions of a Phone Phreak a guide to the National and International Phone System. Beneath the Official Secrets Act tunnels. bunkers and microwave towers protect the Government's communications in wartime or revolution. Cameras Above the Streets mushrooming TV surveillance of London. The People's Radio Primer: a
UC10 R6/1: page 159

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 160

practical guide to liberated communications. Ha Radio and TV low cost, low energy communications for a decentralised world. Cable TV just one. more step in the concentration of ownership of media for profit. AT In the Shade Part 3 of Peter Harper's philosophical Odyssey . Behaviour l\modification a chilling new penal technique: and Science Fiction prizewinning story chosen by Michael !\Moorcock. Plus Reviews: The New Technology of Repression; Alternative Technology & the Politics of Technical Change: The Oil Fix: Appropriate Technology Projects. And Eddies: Did a runaway missile shoot down an airliner? The National Centre for Development of Alternative Technology' Comtek 74: and more …. Undercurrents 8 . Organic Living Experiment, Dart 2 . Sward Gardening let the worms do the work. The Other London Underground hideaways for the bureaucrats beneath the city streets. Opening Up the Airwaves community radio. Building with rammed earth how to use free local materials in construction. Complete French multiblade windmill design with tower construction details. Wind generator theory design details in a nutshell. Breaking the Hermetic Seal does technology need transcendence? COMTEK Festival complete report & pictures. DIY Exhibition picture story. BRAD Community photo report. Duke of Edinburgh visits National Centre for AT interview with the marl behind the Centre. Plus Eddies: Pirate Radio, Celtic Oil Capers. Eddies social Paranoia corner 8. : other titbits And Reviews: An Index of Possibilities; British Bread; Hazards of Work; Private Future Manual for Revolutionary. ', Leaders; The Private Future: Scandinavian magazines. And: an expose of Undercurrents finances

UC10 R6/1: page 160

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 161

Why not sell Undercurrents? We offer a discount of 40 per cent to anyone ordering more than 10 copIes from us. Why not order a few to sell to friends who may be interested? Or, if you don't want to be a salesperson, take a few copies round to your local newsagent or bookshop. They'll ask for 2533 % discount, and they won't pay you until they've sold the copies. but the few coppers you make on the deal should at least cover the bus fare. I enclose a cheque/postal order for £. . . . . . . . in payment for ••••. . . . copies of UNDERCURRENTS No . . •••• at 27p per copy (minimum order, 10 copies). These terms also apply to orders from overseas (surface mail). I understand that UNDERCURRENTS will credit in full against future orders any copies which I return in good condition (we prefer not to make cash refunds) • • TAKE OUT A SUBSCRlPTION MOW I I'd like to subscribe to UNDERCURRENTS and I enclose a cheque/postal order for £2. 50 ($6. 50 US or equivalent) Please put me on your subscription list and invoice me for £2. 50 ($6. 50 US or equivalent) TICK THE APPROPRIATE BOX Please start my subscription with issue number . ••. . • My subscription entitles me to six approximately bimonthly issues posted by surface/second class mail anywhere. NAME ADDRESS DATE ••••••••• Please allow us a while to deal with your order. o I'd like to order back issues of UNDERCURRENTS numbers •••. . •. •••••••. •••••. to be sent to the above address. 01 enclose a cheque/ postal order for £. . . . . . . 0 Please invoice me for. • • . •• • . Back issues cost 50p ($1. 25) each, including second class / surface mail. But back issues of numbers 1,2,3,4, and 5 are now sold out. When reprints are available. we will let you know. 01 would like to take out an Am MAIL subscription tJ I enclose a cheque/postal! order for £ •••••••••• lnvoice me • Air mail subscriptions are worthwhile in many countries since surface mail can take more than two months to many places. Air MAIL SUBSCRIPTION RATES. EUROPE £3. 90 ($9. 40 US): Single copies by air cost one sixth of the subscription. (middle east & N Africa, roughly) £4. 50 ($10. 80) (USA &Canada, etc) £5. 00 ($12. 00) ZONE C (Australasia, Japan, etc) £ 5. 40 ($13. 00) SUB RUNNING OUT? The number with which your sub expires is written on the top or bottom right hand side of the wrapper in which we send your copy. RENEWALS: & CHANGES OF ADDRESS. When you renew your sub or change your address. it helps us if you can return one of the wrappers. Thanks.

UC10 R6/1: page 161

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 162

Things . .
BRAZIERS COMMUNITY Recognising that all the problems of humanity stem from ourselves. a small group of people at Braziers are working on a living experiment in social research in which they them­selves are the material. They endeavour as individuals to face and admit their own weaknesses as well as their own strengths. as these are revealed to them in the course of their communications with each other. The 'core' of this group functions in a pleasant country house which is run as an Adult Education Centre, supported and assisted by the active work of its many nonresident members. Its research is carried on in some of the courses and summer schools, and as far as possible in the centre, where the aim is to try to live in accordance with their findings. Conflict and stress are not shirked, and when they arise, as they always do in any group or community, they are studied care­fully and an endeavour made to turn them to positive use. The research, which was originally launched under the aegis of Norman Glaister, a medical psychiatrist, is based on the observation that humanity tends to be roughly divided into two main types. Various names have been given to these types by different philosophers. 'I immediate and Deliberate'; 'Introvert and Extro­vert' and so on. The terms used by Norman Glaister are 'Resistive and Sensitive'. By the recognition and acceptance of these differences they can be seen to be complementary. The aim is to achieve a better balance and understanding in our living together. To date results are encouraging. For further information write to: Bonnie Russell. Braziers, Ipsden, Oxford. OX9 6AN . • WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS A study<of the road lobby by Mick Hamer. "I can confirm that the British Road Federation is the strongest lobby inside parliament:'Frank Allaun MP. Nearly one quarter of all the oil used in Britain goes into transport and about onefifth of the total energy resources. The levels of pollu­tion from exhaust emissions, disappearance of increasingly valuable agricultural land and habitat destruc­tion are all related to the transport policies we adopt. The road lobby is an industrially based interest group, which exists to promote the con­struction of more, and better, roads, and to minimise
UC10 R6/1: page 162

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 163

restrictions on roads and road traffic. The road lobby tends to shun publicity and it has enjoyed an unusually close working relationship with Government. Published 1974 by Friends of the Earth,9 Poland St, London W1V 30G. See also: Some Alternatives to the M65 Motorway, by Transport Action Group, 45 Lowerhouse Lane, Burnley, Lancs. • HELDER CAMARA'S LATIN AMERICA Betty Richardson Nute has written the latest booklet in the series Non­ violence in Action. 25p. Other titles are: GramdanRevolution by Per­ suasion, by Erica Linton; The signi­ficance of John Woolman for Southern Africa, by Fred Moorhouse. Published by Friends Peace Com­mittee, Friends House, Euston Road, London NW12BJ. LOVE IN CONFLICT David Harding states a case for loving ways of conflict resolution, Published by F. O. R. 1974,9 Coombe Road, New Malden, Surrey. • COMMUMANITY A transnational journal of the Com­mune Movement particularly report­ ing the activities in Japan. Full of useful and detailed information all in English. From The Japanese Com­mune Movement, Nikko Kyodo Noen, 1962 Suginosawa Imaichishi, TochigiKen, Japan 32112. • ON CREATIVE THINKING I n this original essay, Marjorie Hourd, author of the pioneering book, The Education of the Poetic Spirit, reminds us of the intricate nature of poetic thinking, reveals the important connections between creative teach­ing and psychotherapy and gently urges teachers to cultivate in them­selves and in their children or students, a state of reverie. Her argu­ments, quoting some beautiful children's poems, should be of, l'nterest to all those concerned with education as a force for expression and individual development. By Marjorie Hourd. The Gryphon Press. Llanon, Cardiganshire. SOp • MA VA Free Nation News was first produced to counter the media misrepresentation of the events of the 3rd People's Free Festival in Windsor Great Park. It exists as a mouthpiece for the counterculture, an outlet for the many creative people within our national community, and deals in depth with those issues not
UC10 R6/1: page 163

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 164

normally covered by the free press, promoting a healthy interest in our lives here on this planet. Copies are distributed free to groups of people all around the country who are part of community activities in their area. They redistribute at 5p a copy, building a cooperative national communication network ­an alternative system. From 26 Grafton Rd. London NW5. • PRACTICAL VOGA Mehr Fardoonji runs an organic market garden of four acres, and her collaborator, June Johns. a pro­fessional writer, attended some of the Yoga classes that Miss Fardoonji ran for the W. E. A. , and so their collaboration began. Although Practical Yoga is. as its name suggests, mainly concerned with the practice of Hatha yoga, it is far more comprehensive than the majority of 'exercise manual' books on Yoga, that are to be found on bookshelves. In addition to the admirably clear instructions and photographs of the Asanas, and the sections on fasting, relaxation and breathing, that come under the heading of Hatha Yoga, there is also a lucid introductory section on the other Yogas, Jnana, Raja, Karma etc. By June Johns in collaboration with Mehr S. Fardoonji. David & Charles £3. 95. SCOTTISH SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF VIVISECTION Objects: The Protection of Animals from Cruelty, the Prevention of the Infliction of Suffering and the Abolition of Vivisection. Thousands of people are licensed by the Home Office to perform experiments on living animals and the moral. medical and scientific aspects of this concern YOU. Vivisection is rapidly spreading and has already spread into new non­medical fields: cosmetics, aerospace engineering, testing of weed killers, detergents, soaps, into the study of Psychology, Zoology, Ecology, Forestry & Agriculture. Their book­lets include The Extensive use of Animals in Nonmedical Research and Experiments on HumanS,Free from 10 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh EH2 4PG. SUPPORT THE 'BICESTER THREE' In 1973 there wer; 5,363. 641 experiments on living animals. 4,565,542 of these experiments were carried out without the use of anaesthetic. Two
UC10 R6/1: page 164

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 165

young men, Cliff Goodman and Ronnie Lee, members of the militant animal liberation group the 'Sand of Mercy', carried out attacks on a partially constructed vivisection laboratory and vehicles belonging to animal breeders. Ronnie Lee and Robin Howard attacked twO boats which were used by seal hunters in the murder of baby seals. At all times the 'Bicester Three', Robin, Ronnie and Cliff took the utmost care that no person or animal would be injured by their activities. They have been charged with arson. They face possible life imprisonment. Please give generously to: Bicester Three Defence Fund, 91 Home Close, Hockwell Ring, Luton, Beds. CLAP Payouts happen every two months. The last CLAP Payout, No. 5, was the biggest ever, and came to £5,002. 47 projects for radical social change received money, including: the Chapeltown Women' Group 1£2571, Cope alternatives to mental hospital 1(500), Lazarus Emergency Ambulance Corps (Belfast I (£2161, Maya free national newspaper 1(230), the Transsexual A'ction Organisation (£2001 and Unicom Community Press Birmingham (£2001. Please pay your CLAP tax! You pledge up to 4% of your gross income every two months mini­mum £1 and choose yourself projects to support described in the CLAP Handbook. It's a good read in its own right, full of outrageous, visionary and imaginative projects. HEALTH ANO HEALING SELFHEALTH CENTRE This is a centre for the promotion and practice of selfhealth. Pre­ventive medicine through correct bodymanagement and diet; health education; and the ultimate dissolution of the doctorpatient situation. Seminars every Tuesday evening on alternatives in medicine, regular workshops on acupuncture, shiatsu, massage, etc, and cooking classes. Newcomers are always welcome. 507 Caledonian Road, London N7. . WOMEN'S SELFCARE Women help women take respons­ibility for their own health care. Women have started selfexamina­tion. With the aid of a torch, a mirror, a plastic speculum and a group of women to share the experience each woman can easily and safely see her own cervix and 'os' the entrance to the uterus!. Women can know and care for their own reproductive organs. Self determination
UC10 R6/1: page 165

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 166

is a necessary part of a wholesome and complete cure. We can shake off oppressive medical practices only by making the alter­ native a personal realitY. • HAELAN CENTRE Organic food and herbal medicine. Remarkable collection of all the herbs you can think of, 3% page duplicated list plus some advice on ailments and remedies. Only by visiting it can you know what it is. We recommend it. 39 Park Road. Crouch End, London N8 aTE . THE MASSAGE BOOK This book is full of simple, all body massage techniques including the use of foot massage (with the aid of a foot map) to heal other parts of the body. There are lots of beauti­ful and clear drawings. This is the book to break down barriers and lead you into body awareness. By George Downing, Penguin GOp. • MEDICAL NEMESIS I f there is a corner of you which still venerates the medical pro­fession, if you are a patient willingly submitting to a doctor, here is the book to revolutionise your thinking and your role. 'The m'edical establishment has become a major threat to health' writes Ivan IIlich in this book published by Calder & Boyars, 1975, £1. 25p. There will be a review of it in the next Issue. • Enormous HEALTH issue of CATONSVILLE ROADRUNNER which includes a report on the Women and Health Conference, Sheffield, a chart of herbal remedies, from antiseptics and aphrodisiacs to varicose veins, articles on massage, teeth, 0. 1. Y. health, book reviews and a reading list. All for lOp from 28 Brundretts Road, Manchester 21. THE HEALING ARTS Alison Heard has produced a useful introductory booklet on the alter­ native therapies of Nature Cure, Herbalism, Homoeopathy, Radionics, Colour Healing and Spiritual Healing. From 160 Glen Albyn Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 Resurgence classified rates Display: . £3 per single column inch
UC10 R6/1: page 166

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 167

Lineage: All classifications 5p per word Minimum £3 Box numbers: 25p per insertion Classified advertisements must be prepaid (cheques made out to INTERPRESS) and sent to Katie Thear, Advertisement Department, 19 Anne Boleyn's Walk, Cheam, Surrey. Tel: 01642 5826). SITUATIONS VACANT HELPER wanted to spread the word about nonviolence resurgence/undercurrents. Based in Harlow, Essex; start­ing at £15. 00 weekly, free accommodation and various expenses paid. About 25 hours' work a week. Opportunities for extra work and income if required. Telephone 014029273 or 012622873. ACCOUNTANT, qualified and experienced, required full or parttime by expanding organ­Isation supporting nonviolence, alternative technology and thirdworld contacts. Salary and conditions negotiable, Telephone Peace Projects, 014029273 HARDWARE IF YOU'RE interested in Saxon spinning wheels (. £30) or Dutch wooden clogs (£2. 50) write a nice postcard to Postorder Community voor der Overlevenden, Knoevenoord straat 71, Brummen, Holland. Small Ads . . . . COMMUNITIES PEOPLE with capital/income needed for BRAD community to replace departed members. Interests: (i) communal living; Cii) alternative technology and farming. Rewards: happy living on established self­sufficient 40acre Welsh hill farm. Write fully to: Eithiny Gaer, Churchstoke, Mont gomeryshire. GROUP PLANNING to pur­chase 100 acres to farm organically and create a cooperative community endeavour for all to work together and find common purpose for the future, need someone to help with an interest free loan to enable start. Bridge Trust, 20 The Chase, Reigate, Surrey. A GROUP OF MATURE New Age workers are planning to buy a large property with at least 4 acres of land to form a
UC10 R6/1: page 167

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 168

mainly self supporting Light centre for retreat, healing and teaching of all kinds. Also art and craft work and animal care. We should like to know of any­one interested in selling such a property for this purpose or wishing to join such a venture. Write ' Allways', 21 St. Pauls Road West, Dorking, Surrey. YOUNG rural community aim ing for selfsufficiency. experimenting with alternative technology and cooperation. needs people. Those with building skills especially welcome, as we're about to start a major renovation job on part of the property. If you're interested, write to Inside Out Press, Edenbank Cottages, Dairsie, Fife, Scot­land. PUBLICATIONS ARCTIC COUNTER­CULTURE. Read about the arctic counterculture in Vannbaereren. If you like Resurgence (and understand Norwegian) you're going to like Vannbaereren. Each issue contains articles and pictures about various aspects of the search for new lifestyles that are ecologically sound. Also poems, reviews: short stories, comic strips. contact column etc. Write to: Vannbaereren. Box 13, 9155 Karls \,>y. Norway. JUST OUT! Smoothie's Alter­native Technology Series. SAE for details. prices etc. to John Noyce, Flat 2, 83 Montpelier Road, Brighton, Sussex. IRISH BOOKS BY POST. For descriptions and prices of our large assortment of books about Ireland, send just 20p, refundable on your first pur­chase. Listed are books about visiting and settling in Ireland, genealogy. history and many more. Gand Ltd . • Dept. U2. Dunmanway. Cork, Ireland. LEAVING THE 20th CENTURY the incomplete work of the Situationist Inter­national. Original translations of SI texts comix and graffiti. joyful and nonsensical. 168 pages (large) for only 80 pence plus 15p postage. Free Fall Box 13u 197 Kings Cross Road, London WCI. "Milord, I am from another country We are bored in the town We have no intention of contributing"' to this mechanical civilisation. to its bleak architecture . . . . We want to create environments which are permanently evolving . . . . The hacienda must be built!" Hurry! NEUE FREIE PRE SSE (New' Free Press) from Vienna. Independent magazine for dependents. Monthly4 colours more pictures than wordshard pictureshard wordsnothing softcomix­sex. THE leftwingmagazine for young people. Be newbe freeread New Free Press.
UC10 R6/1: page 168

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 169

Free copies from: Neue Freie Presse. A1070 Wien, Museum­strasse 5. Austria. 'SOLAR HEATED Buildings: A Brief Survey' from Solar Energy Digest. PO Box 17776. San Diego. California 92117. Price: $7 (£3) post paid. "It includes houses, schools, commercial buildings that are partially or fully solar heated. It lists 92 buildings that did exist, do exist or are expected to exist very soon. " EDUCATIONAL DORDOGNE Field courses in Practical Ecology. 20 acres limestonebased mixed environment for comparative studies. From £20 for 14day course. Selfcatering accom­modationincluded. May, June, July. LewinPoole 99 Worple Road. ,t Isleworth, Middlesex. OI8 2 1785. ACCOMMODATION EXMOOR MILL HOUSE vacant short term tenant to keep idyllic 3% acre site on edge of trout stream in well husbanded condition for 912 months min. whist plans devised to create centre for alternative technology, small­scale organic farming and partial selfsufficiency. Resourceful. practical person/ couple, some experience in farming/smallholding an advantage. 4 bedrooms, 2 living rooms. dairy. ) barn, 4 loose­boxes, etc. Use of most of accommodation available. No electricity calor gas. Fertile kitchen garden and 2 fields/pasture. Existing weir, millrace but no waterwheel. Alternative power sources turbine, heat pump. solar power. Reasonable rent required to help offset loan costs negotiable. Barter possible. Write outlining interests, experience. Refer­ences will be required. Michael Brown. 57 King's Rd, Richmond Surrey. FREE ACCOMMODATION for nine to twelve months. Old cottage situated Ridgewell (Essex/Suffolk border). Would expect some practical help with repairs and maintenance in return. Contact Niels Toettcher. 44 Albion Street, London W. 2. SARVODAYA PEACE CON­FERENCE A conference • for the friends of Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave and J. P. Narayan. • for the sympathisers of Gramdan. Sarvodaya and Shanti Sena movements. • for the supporters of small scale, decentralised and eco­logical society. To be held in the autumn of 1975. Anyone interested write to Satish Kumar, London / School of Nonviolence. 2 Amen Court. London EC4.
UC10 R6/1: page 169

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 170

Undercurrents Stockists LONDON Housman's Bookshop 5 Caledonian Rd Kings Cross Nt. Grass Roots 61 Goldborne Rd, W11. Seed Bookshop Portobello Rd, Wl1. Compendium 240 Camden High St, NWl. Haelan Centre 39 Park Rd, Crouch End, N8. Sunflower Friends Portobello Rd, W11. Paperback Centre 28 Charlotte St, WI. BSSR5 9 Poland 5t, WI. Friends of the Earth 9 Poland St, WI. Moonfleet 39 Clapham Park Rd, 5W4. Village Bookshop Regent St. WCI. Architectural Association Bookshop 36 Bedford Square, WCl. Freedom Bookshop 846, Whitechapel High 5t, El Mandarin Books New College Parade, NW3. Robinson & Watkins 1921 Cecil Court (off Charing Cross Rd) WCZ. Rising Free 197 Kings Cross P,d, WCI. Ceres 269 Portobello Rd, W11. Centreprise 136 Kingsland High St, E8. Collets 66 Charing Cross Rd, WC2. Dillons University Bookshop 1 Malet St, WCI. Grotes 29b Hornsey Rise. N19. NUS Environment Section 3 Endsleigh St, WI. Copies may also be purchased from the Undercurrents Office (this is not
UC10 R6/1: page 170

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 171

our editorial office any more) at 275 Finchley Rd, NW3. CAMBRIDGE Cokaygne Bookshop . I Jesus Terrace, New Square. Arjuna Wholefoods 12 Mill Rd. MANCHESTER Orbit Books Whittle St, M4. Percivals Peter House, Oxford St, Ml. Wheelers 36 Ann St, M2. Grass Roots Bookshop 78 Oxford Rd, M13. Bookflair Mount St, M2. On the 8th Day 11 Oxford Rd, MI3. EDINBURGH Better Books 11 Forrest Rd, EHI. CARDIFF The l\. Miskin St. Book Shop 19 Miskin St, Cathays. One 0 Eight 108 Salisbury Rd, Cathays NOTTINGHAM Mushroom 15 Heathcote St, NG2. __ Conservation Society Portland Building Nottingham University, NG7. Nottingham University Peace Society. GLASGOW AF & J Barrett, 178 Byres Rd. G12. John Smith & Son 89 Otago St, W2. SHEFFIELD
UC10 R6/1: page 171

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 172

Rare & Racey 166 Devonshire St, 53. BATH • Searights Bookshop Ltd 9 New Bond St Place, BAI. BRIGHTON Symposium 12 Market St, BN 1. Public House Bookshop 21 Little Preston St. DUBLIN Eblana Bookshop Gratton St. Green Acres 4 Great Strand St . . Dl. Reas Bookshop St. Stephens Green. LEICESTER Leicester University Bookshop University Rd, LEI. Black Flag Books I Wilne St. BIRMINGHAM 632 Bookshop 632 Bristol Rd, Selly Oak, B29. Prometheus Books 134 Alcester Rd, Moseley, B13. Birmingham Peace Centre 18 Moor St, Ringway. LIVERPOOL Atticus Bookshop 31 Clarence St. News from Nowhere 48 Manchester St, L16. HULL Bogus
UC10 R6/1: page 172

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 173

21 Prince's Ave, HU5. John Sheridan Ltd 19 Anlaby Rd, HUI. NORWICH University Bookshop University Plain, NOR88C Bristows 4 Bridewell Alley, NOR 02H. Conservation Book} 28 Bearwood Rd Wokingham, Berks. Out of Tune Hyde Park House Kings Cross Rd, Halifax. John Smith & Son Ltd Stirling University Bookshop. Spice Island Osborne Rd, Southsea, Hants. Books & Things 9 Oswald 81, Lancaster. The Other Branch 7 Regent Place Leamington Spa, Warwicks. Bookshop (The Fourth Idea) 14 Southgate, Bradford 1. Alligator 104 Fishergate, York. Books 84 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 8AB. EOA Book 34 Cowley Rd, Oxford. Low Impact Technology Ltd. has moved to London and been reorganised as Conservation Tools & Technology Ltd. CTT have formed the CIT ASSOCIATION which offers subscribers information on recent developments around the world in its quarterly newsletter ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES. Subscription"to the CIT ASSOCIATION also offers members discounts on en products and publications. CTT offer a range of publications on various specialised aspects of alternative energy sources and selfsufficiency. CTT also offer wind generators solar collectors inverters _ selfcontained toilets fireless cookers small experimental and large modularised methane digesters solarpowered mini motors (educational toy) heat and sound insulating shutters etc. CTT's Energy Management
UC10 R6/1: page 173

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 174

Division, in consultation with architects and engineers, will advise on energy saving (with site evaluations at RIBA rates) to industrial, commercial, governmental, agricultural and horticultural energy users. CTT Please send a stamp only P. O. Box 134, (not an envelope) for Kingston, further information on Surrey KT26PR OUNCIL FOR SCIENCE AND SOCIETY is holding an OPEN FORUM , on Saturday, 3rd May, 1975 at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London, W. C. !. , from 10. 00 a. m. to 5. 00 p. m. on 'NEGLECTED RESEARCH AND SOCIAL PRIORITIES' The priorities of human need are not always matched by the allocation of scientific research effort, The Open Forum will start a public dis­cussion about this, with reference to real cases. The Council invites brief proposals for contributions, on general or particular topics. Details from: The Secretary (Spring Conference), Council for Science and Society, 3/4 St. Andrew's Hill, London EC4V 5BY. TICKETS by application: 50p; Students, O. A. Ps, Claimants and Unemployed: 25p. For creche facilities, please enquire. SMALL ADS . . . . HARDWARE THINKING OF BEEKEEPING All equipment. Send for list. Honey Producers, 66, High Street. Malmesbury, Wilts. HEDGEHOG HAND CARDING and Spinning Equipment ­made to order for beginners and professionals. Handcarders, Drum carders, and Canadian Indian Spinners. I try to keep prices low. SAE enquiries welcomed. . J'. J. Willcox, Wheatcroft, Itching­field, Horsham, Sussex.
UC10 R6/1: page 174

anything that interests you.

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 175

GROUPS BSSRS, 9 Poland Street, London WI V 3DG. organises radical work on all aspects of science and technology. including occupational health. military science, unionising scientists. and more. ­Membership is £3 per year. £ 1 for, students and claimants. Latest Science for People magazine. No 28, is now out. Articles on Fighting pollution at work. The New Technology_ ill re­pression: lessons from Ulster, is only 45p by post while stocks last. BOOKS & magazine UP AGAINST THE LAW. Issue No 8 now available from all disreputable newsagents, bookshops and UPAL office, 66. York Way, London Nt. Contributions welcome for next issue. More bent apples, sagas of corruption. bent wigs, and naughty tales about the legal gravy train. And in spite of the Law, radical legal advice continues to be published all the vital little tips your lawyer won't tell you. UPAL: essential reading for all those who want an alternative diet to ZCars and SoftlySoftly. £2. 50 per annum, special rate for lawyers and professionals, £6. 00.
COURSES MIDDLESEX POLYTECHNIC BSc and BSc Honours in Society and Technology. This four year sandwich course offers you the opportunity to stud)' the natural and social sciences and their inter­dependence. You can enter with Alevels In any two subjects. The course pro­vides an understanding of the complex relationships between science and tech­nology, enabling you not only to understand your own place in contemporary society, but to work responsibly with the benefits technology can bring. Write or telephone for further details and an application form to: The Admissions Office. PO Box 40. Middlesex Polytechnic. Queensway, Enfield. Mlddx. EN3 4SF. Phone 01 805 0892.

UC10 R6/1: page 175

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 176

SUBSCRIBE NOW Resurgence Journal of the Fourth World
This journal includes articles on the social and political implications of alternative science and peoples' technology. It emphasises the importance of care of the land, good husbandry and selfsufficiency in food production for England and for all countries. E. F. Schumacher, founder of Intermediate Tech­nology Development Group and author of Small is Beautiful, and Geoffrey Ashe, historian,. author of Gandhi: a Study in Revolution, and authority on Glastonbury and King Arthur, write in every issue. VOL 5 No:5 A special issue on the spiritual impetus to ecological living. Hunting Peoples: harmony between com­munity and environment: Robert Waller "Religion articulates a moral order which fits us complicated human beings into our com­plicated world. " The Holy World of the Hindus: "Thus practising the art of seeing God at play everywhere, one day, the seersaint merges into the Divine," Other articles include: Ancestor Power, Make Religion Vanish Into Reality VOL 5 No:3 Afraid of Magic: "Quite simply the rod twisted or failed to twist, and knew more than I did. " Whole Food and Agriculture for Healthy Selfsufficiency "Britain must feed itself because nobody else is going to . . . Treating the Whole Body and Soul "The sick person in search of a cure is an easy victim. " Other articles include: The Fourth World: History Written Backwards, Technology with Good Vibes, Ecology: The Household Pet of the Corporate State VOL 5 No:1 The Rape of Mother Earth: John Seymour, author of SelfSufficiency. "The only alternative is smallscale farming to get more people on the land. " Meditation: Satish Kumar. "Meditation is to be able to experience existence without anxiety, impatience, haste and attachment. " Plus 8page poetry special. VOL 5 No:6 No Future for Megapolis: E. F. Schumacher. "For more than a century, the emphasis on city life and the brain drain at the expense of the rural areas has been devastatingly severe. " Missing Knowledge: Keith Critchlow et al. "We have become increasingly aware of
UC10 R6/1: page 176

Undercurrents 10 Resurgence 6/1: 1975: page 177

three major omissions in our educational system: the survival areas of food, shelter and health. " Other articles include: How Many Celts, The Nuclear Myth, Back to the LandWork­ing Weekends on Organic Farms, School of Self reliance, and more. VOL 5 No:4 A special issue on who owns the land and how it should be cultivated. Can Britain Feed Itself?: Michael Allaby. "There are more tractors than workers on British farms and six times more energy goes into a British battery farm than home produce. " Letter from Chief Seathl to the President of the United States: "If we sell our land, love it as we've loved it. Care for it as we've cared for it . . . Our God is the same God. " VOL 5 No:2 The Tantra of Erotic Love: Acharya Shree Rajneesh. "One who is interested in life and conscious­ness will automatically become interested in sex because sex is the source of life, of love, of all that is happening in the world of con­sciousness. So if a seeker is not interested in sex, he is not a seeker at all. Sex is just the beginning, not the end. But if you miss the beginning, you will miss the end also. " VOL 4 No:6 Education or Manipulation?: Vinoba Shave. "We consider medicine bottles the sign of a sick body; we ought to consider books the sign of a sick mind. The wise men of past ages took no pains to make life literate, but to make it meaningful. " When the Food Crisis Comes: Anthony Farmer. The author was one of the first to argue that it is possible for England and Wales to be selfsufficient in food. I would like to subscribe for one year. Enclosed is £2. 50 (U. S. $7. 00, airmail $10. 00) NAME ADDRESS Cheque to 'RESURGENCE', 275 Kings Road, Kingston, Surrey, England. Lost Post Due to circumstances "beyond our control (honest:) Undercurrents has lost an entire days post. If you wrote to us on or about February 19th please write again. We have asked the Post Office to try to trace the missing letters. Missing Resurgence If any reader can give or loan us the following Resurgence issues we would be very grateful: Vol. 1, No. 9 Sept/Oct 67 Vol. 1, No. 11 Jan/Feb 68 VoI. 2, No. 7 May/ June69 Vo1. 2, No. 10 Nov/Dec 69. The Architectural Press wants to put them on microfilm.
UC10 R6/1: page 177